The following are only a few of the many success stories of Blackwell Job Corps. These graduates' stories are proof that Job Corps can start you on the path to success.
If you’ve paid a visit to the Lakewood Ranger District office lately, it’s likely you’ve been greeted by Holly Moore, who is working for the Forest Service as a full-time Information Receptionist. She was hired under the Student Temporary Employment Program. She is also a student at the Blackwell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center where she enrolled in the Business Technology training program.
"It’s a pleasure to have Holly here," said Dale Harrison, her supervisor, "She’s a smart young woman, a quick learner, and is pleasant and respectable to the many visitors who stop in or call the District office."
Holly came to Blackwell approximately one year ago. She was familiar with Job Corps and was looking to enhance her skills and become more employable, so she first called the Job Corps phone line ((800) 733-JOBS) and indicated an interest in attending a Job Corps center in her home state of Wisconsin. She had been living in Milwaukee and was also a student at the College of Menominee Nation in Keshena.
After meeting with a recruiter and supplying qualifying information such as transcripts and letters of recommendation, she was accepted into the program at Blackwell.
"Coming to Blackwell was an excellent way for me to learn structure and discipline and get away from the city and its distractions. I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given to be a student at Job Corps because it has opened new and exciting doors for my future," she said. According to Center Director Jay Lowe, "Holly is an exemplary example of a student who has truly benefited from all that the Job Corps program has to offer young men and women."
At Blackwell, Holly belongs to the Intergroup Relations Committee, helping to organize events for the Center such as a Veteran’s Day recognition ceremony. She also volunteered for Make a Difference Day which included arts and crafts projects with local schools and daycare centers and raking yards for elderly and disabled citizens. She enjoys reading, playing dominoes, bike riding, and participating in pool tournaments at the center.
"We will continue building our partnership and connection with the Forest Service as we give students the opportunity to develop skills that are a good fit for the agency. Holly’s appointment to a position at the Lakewood office is a great start," said Lowe.
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Lylenel Harris from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, came to Blackwell about a year ago. Since his arrival, he has completed Constructions Craft Laborer career technical training and is currently in Business Technology training. Lylenel came to Blackwell in pursuit of higher education and "wanted something that was more than just a job."
But, this is just one of the chapters of this young man’s life. He was the youngest in a family of five being raised by a single mother. When he was eight years old, his mother was unable to continue caring for the children, and for about 9 years afterward, Lylenel and his siblings lived in ten different foster homes. "Living with many different families gave me the gift of understanding and welcoming diversity. I found it difficult to cope with going from one home to another, not knowing where I would end up next. I believe that was the very thing that allowed me not only to accept change, but also gives me the ability to mentor others," he said.
Lylenel was not a stranger to Job Corps as his brother Wayman Harris graduated from a Job Corps center in Indiana as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Lylenel decided to choose the Blackwell campus for his training because it was smaller, offered more one-on-one educational opportunities, and was closer to home. Now that he is close to completing the Business Technology training, he is looking ahead to his future. He would like to transfer to Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps in Minnesota and continue the training that will qualify him for employment under the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), hopefully at a Forest Service office in Milwaukee or Albuquerque.
Lylenel’s Business Technology instructor, Linda Kau, speaks highly of him. "He has a very professional demeanor and has what it takes to take advantage of what Job Corps has to offer. Being hired for the Forest Service under SCEP is an opportunity he probably wouldn’t have anywhere else."
His skills in communicating and connecting with others were also noticed by the residential advisors in his dormitory. Within two months of his stay at Blackwell, he was placed in a leadership role and eventually became the dormitory vice president. He is also an active volunteer for blood drives and highway clean-ups and helped to build a play set for a local children’s park.
"Getting here was scary," he said, upon arriving at Blackwell, "but now it really feels like home. I’m glad I won’t have to look back five to ten years from now and wish I had been more successful. Job Corps gave me that wish."
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At one time, Blackwell student Darren Lenore had given up on himself. The youngest of six siblings, Darren experienced the unexpected death of his mother at a very young age. The impact of this led Darren down the wrong path. He found himself making poor choices, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and eventually dropped out of a Detroit high school. "I was doing things I wasn’t proud of," he said.
Things started to change for him after he saw a TV commercial about Job Corps. About a month after applying for a Job Corps scholarship, he arrived at Blackwell Job Corps Center. Over the past 11 months, he has earned a GED and will graduate from the Business Technologies trade in another two months. His future plans are to transfer to the Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps in Minnesota for advanced training in the Transportation Communications Union Program.
Darren’s life lessons at Blackwell go well beyond vocational and educational gains. Early on, staff at the Center recognized his ability to be a leader, mentor, and role model for other students at the center. He started working as a Dorm Leader and eventually became a Dorm President. These roles taught him how to work with a diverse group of people and provide guidance and discipline in a team-like atmosphere. Currently, Darren is the President of the Blackwell’s Student Government Association (SGA) where he was elected by a landslide of votes from his fellow students.
Darren would like to eventually return to Blackwell or another Forest Service Job Corps center as a Residential Advisor (RA) in the dormitories. Tom Morgan, Residential Living Supervisor couldn’t be more pleased. "This is the best student I’ve seen pass through our doors in my 15 years at Blackwell. Darren has been highly successful as the SGA president. He would make an excellent RA, and I would be very happy to see him return to Blackwell in that capacity once he finishes his advanced training."
As the SGA President, Darren has led the student Green Team which is taking a hard look at ways to conserve energy, reduce waste, and recycle at Blackwell, particularly in the four dormitories.
Darren also has a real passion about helping others in the community. He has been very involved with volunteer activities, and would like to see the students become more involved with helping others in the area. "I learned about helping others from my mother. I think it’s important for students to experience this here so they continue volunteering in their own home towns once they’ve left Blackwell."
His mother would be proud - very proud.
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Page last updated:
Thursday, June 09, 2011