Rachael Ann Garoutte’s mother always taught her that having good manners would get her a long way. The ear-to-ear grin and smiling eyes with which Rachael greets every staff, student and visitor at Anaconda Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (JCCCC) is evidence that she listened to her mom’s advice.
Just weeks from turning 25, Rachael arrived at Anaconda JCCCC with an open mind and a lot of enthusiasm. Up to that point, she had been living in the same state, the same city and even the same house where she was born and raised. She was tired of working at low-income jobs that required little to no education. After working mostly manual labor jobs that did not pay much, she remembers telling herself, “I knew I wanted more and could do better with my life.” It was then that Rachael sought out the Job Corps program and was excited to finally branch out a bit and move away from home. Anaconda JCCCC in Montana is two states away from the one-and-only house she ever lived in and more importantly full of new things to see and do and learn. Opportunity!
Rachael already had a High School Diploma upon arrival at Anaconda JCCCC, so she was able to get a quick start in the Business Technology trade. With most of her prior job experience demanding physical exertion, she craved learning about the tools and skills needed for clerical work, in an office, with a computer.
Rachael’s instructor was pleased to gain such a focused and determined student, “Rachael is a fun, mature, most responsible trainee to have in trade.” Her drive to understand the trade and effectively communicate with her fellow students motivates those around her to set similar personal goals. Rachael’s instructor believes that, “Rachael is here to gain as much knowledge and skill as possible. She is goal-oriented.”
Six months since her arrival at Anaconda JCCCC, Rachael has already advanced to a Work Based Learning (WBL) position which enables her some real-life clerical work experience as a United States Forest Service (USFS) Administrative Assistant.
Rachael’s federal government position for Anaconda JCCCC’s Administration Department allows her to hone interpersonal skills not only with her fellow Anaconda JCCCC students but also with the staff as coworkers. She challenges herself with really understanding what people are saying and what they mean.
“The most helpful thing I’ve learned about successfully communicating with others,” Rachael claims, “is to slow down, really listen and don’t jump to conclusions. Ask for clarification.”
Rachael’s peers feel that she has met the challenge. “Watching her work as a staff member amazes me because she knows what she is doing as if she has worked here for years,” says one student coworker from the front office. “You would never know she is a student until she gets off work; even then she sets a great example for me and the other students.”
When asked what advice she would offer, Rachael replied with, “Capitalize on others’ successes by using their victories as motivation for achieving your own triumphs.”
Rachael is a prime example of a stellar Job Corps student whose future is full of accomplishment. She’s worked very hard to own her successes. And, because of her, Anaconda JCCCC staff and students and all who she encounters are better off for getting to meet, work with and simply be connected to Rachael. Her mom has much more to be proud of than just heeding her counsel on using good manners.