Kittrell Job Corps celebrates the graduation of 50 students

Jan. 31, 2013 @ 04:53 PM

Milestones were reached in the lives of 50 young adults as they graduated from the Kittrell Job Corps on Thursday.

Through no-cost education and career technical training, students at Kittrell Job Corps are able to gain employability skills, pursue a college degree or a career in the military.

The Job Corps have been holding a graduation each winter and summer for the past 30 years.

“Go get your blessing,” said commencement honor speaker, Brenda Peace-Jenkins. “There are blessings out there for you, and I want you to go get what is in store for you. The only thing we are entitled to is that which we obtain ourselves.”

Peace-Jenkins, a Henderson city councilwoman, is a native of Vance County where she attended Vance-Granville Community College. She’s currently pursuing a master’s in public administration.

“It’s your time,” Peace-Jenkins said. “You were made to live a good life, and that’s what I believe. You’ve been qualified. It’s official.”

A total of 19 graduates were already pursuing their newly learned skills at college, in the military or at their new job. For that reason they were absent from the graduation.

As the 31 remaining students dressed in cap and gown marched into the gym they each carried three roses, which were handed to staff, parents, and teachers in honor of their support.

“The roses represent that our graduates are grateful for what you have done to help them graduate,” said Vanessa Crawford, wellness manager at Kittrell Job Corps.

Among graduates was Tkeyah Moore, a 21-year-old Granville County native who decided to attend Job Corps after seeing a commercial on television.

“At home I wouldn’t do anything,” Moore said. “I was just sitting on the couch and I felt like I should so something.”

Today Moore is set to attend school at Piedmont Community College in Roxboro. For six months she pursued career technical training in medical office support, and has begun work as a Certified Nursing Assistant.

“I’m doing CNA work and I’m going to school,” Moore said. “I’m happy.”

Alonzo Smith, of Walstonburg, attended Kittrell Job Corps for 10 months working to pursue a career in business office administration. He has obtained Internet and Computing Certification, identifying his proficiency in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel.

“In the near future I want to end up starting my own gaming business,” Smith said, “buying and selling video games.”

Smith, who has big dreams for his future, will reach one step closer to accomplishing them as he begins school at Pitt Community College in March.

As tassels were turned, parents, student and staff erupted in applause, signifying the end of one milestone in each graduate’s life, and the beginning of a promising new journey.

For six months after students graduate, a Job Corps career transition specialist keeps in touch to make sure things are going well in their new career.

“You’ve reached a milestone here, but it does not stop here,” Jenkins said. “Now is the time you go out and utilize all that you have learned.”

 

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.