Graduates need to create possibilities to succeed

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As I See It

by ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO

When students graduate, they think that they are done! That’s not the case, the keynote speaker said, as she spoke during San Jose Job Corps’ graduation ceremonies held at the Gymnasium last Wednesday, April 25, 2019 at the Center’s 11-acre campus in San Jose.

Now that you graduated, you need to create possibilities for yourself to succeed in life! This was the message of Ms. LaToya Fernandez, Founder of community-based YouthHype and keynote speaker during the San Jose Job Corps Commencement Day.

As a community advocate, LaToya understands how people succeed in life. She said, “You need to add value towards life. This is one of the possibilities you need to create because any move you do should add value to yourself to be able to succeed.” She believes that the social justice-based curriculum should encourage the graduates to think positively to be able to immerse themselves to the community. I think she said that the only way to be able to do that is to add value to oneself, so he or she can value the rest that’s affecting his/her life.

The graduates, she said, also need to create their vision in life and envision themselves to be successful. Graduation is not the end but graduates need to keep the bigger picture in mind: vision for a better life.

Finally, she said that they also need to create the possibility that will make them happy.

“You deserve to be happy!” she said. Then she congratulated all the graduates and wished them good luck!

Center Director Leslie Gilroy, in her welcome remarks said “… it’s my honor and pleasure to welcome all of you to honor our graduates. I know you are excited and anxious… graduates you deserve a sense of pride… because you worked for it! Thank you for coming and let’s celebrate the moment.”

Philip George, Career Development Director, was the emcee and he was also the one who introduced the keynote speaker. Advanced TCU graduate student Joy Milton led the singing of the Star Spangled Banner; HSE and CTT graduate Jonathan Westling led the pledge of allegiance; and the graduation speech was delivered by HSE graduate Stephanie Montanez in behalf of the 79 graduates.

Presentation of diplomas was done by Center Director Leslie Gilroy; graduation announcer was HSE Instructor Eric Peterson; Turning of the Tussel was done by Laurie Pianka, Executive Director of Community Development and Career Pathways of SIATech; and the closing remarks was given by Deputy Center Director Chris Allen who likewise congratulated the graduates for a job well done!

San Jose Job Corps is one of 125 Job Corps Centers all over the country offering at-risk students ranging from 16 to 24 years old to earn their high school diplomas, get their trades, and claim high school equivalency (GED) certificates.

The graduates thanked their teachers in mentoring and guiding them throughout their education in Job Corps. The academic instructors led by Acting Academic Manager Jonathan Quijas include Annie Zacharia, Math Instructor; Bernadette Dunham, Reading Instructor; Cheryl Roettmer, Penfoster and Reading Instructor; Denis Marks, GED instructor; Eric Peterson, GED Instructor; Elpidio R. Estioko, Reading Instructor; Jeffrey Tan, Math Instructor; and the rest of the academic instructors Terry Montelibano, Teshome Moreda, Nitu Sidhu, Koshy Skaria, and Reema Walia.

The vocational instructors led by Career Technical Training Manager Sheena Mikesell are Samuel Yang, Off-Center Training Advisor; Huishan Yang, Off-Center Training Advisor; Sneha Rao, Office Administration Instructor; Francisco Preciado, Customer Service Instructor; Michael Lin, Culinary Arts Instructor; Karrie Morrow, Medical Administration Instructor; Ruel Manipis, Facilities Maintenance Instructor; and Felisiano Perez, Material Handling Instructor.

Graduation support were extended by Amanda Rodarte, Celestina Silva, Athena Nunez-Hunter, TABE Administrator, and Amritha Matthews, Testing Coordinator.

For us educators and parents, student success is our paramount concern! We teachers do a lot of things in our classroom instructions to be able to integrate all kinds of lessons that will effectively engage the students and become successful in their learning/education.

With the aid of technology and other classroom resources, we do a combination of lectures, group discussions, one-on-one teaching, peer teaching, contextualized learning, Power Point presentation, and the like. All in the name of success!

San Jose Job Corps is complying with the law in education (Every Student Succeeds Act) which states that every student needs to succeed. It designed its ways of measuring progress and devised measures to evaluate success in its various projects.

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is an original bill that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves. This also repealed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA). It was signed into law by then US President Barack Obama in December 2015 that encompasses the United States K–12 public education policy.

With the passage of the law, parents, educators, and elected officials across the country recognized that a strong, updated law was necessary to expand opportunity to all students; support schools, teachers, and principals; and to strengthen our education system and economy. This is the mandated role of ESSA, supposedly a more expanded law from that of Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and the No Child Left behind Act (NCLBA).

Job Corps is a tuition-free training and education program under the Department of Labor (DOL) that connects students with the skills and educational opportunities they need to establish their real careers in the real world.

It also help students prepare for their career with basic education and knowledge that goes beyond the classroom and their training area.

So, creating all the possibilities to succeed and implementing them to the letter is the key towards succeeding in our life!

(For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at estiokoelpidio@gmail.com).

 

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