Blue Ridge Job Corps joined 125 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the 8th Annual “National Job Corps Commencement Day” ceremony Friday, August 24, and to congratulate the Job Corps students who showed Job Corps Works! by completing the program this year.
Local policymakers, community leaders, family members and many others recognized these students’ achievements and the investment they made in their futures and community. These guests included Deputy Majority Whip for Virginia House of Delegates, Israel O’Quinn; Regional Director for Senator Time Kaine, Laura Blevins; Regional Director for Senator Mark Warner, Shane Clem; Field Representative for Congressman Morgan Griffith, Cody Mumpower; and Town of Marion Mayor David Helms.
“Many times in our lives we find ourselves stuck in a rut,” said Pastor William Reid of New Hope Baptist Church, the keynote speaker at BRJC’s ceremony. “Many times what we need are the resources to make it out of the rut and the belief in ourselves that we can overcome.” He urged all in attendance to repeat after him, stating “I AM A WINNER!” as he motivated the graduates to seek positivity in their lives.
Blue Ridge Job Corps is one of 125 Job Corps centers located across the country. A unique national program, Job Corps offers underserved youth a set of diverse academic opportunities and career pathways tailored to meet the needs of business and industry. Each year, Job Corps gives tens of thousands of youth a second chance to complete their education and advance into careers, higher education or the military.
Job Corps has served more than 3 million out-of-work young adults and underserved youth nationally. Many come from backgrounds in which college and similar avenues aren’t an option, and Job Corps helps them become active contributors to their communities.
“Graduation is a special day, and a day that an individual will never forget, said Cathy Williams, Center Director of Blue Ridge Job Corps. This is my first graduation at Blue Ridge and one that I will never forget. There is nothing better than watching students graduate. It is an emotional time that allows the student to really reflect on their accomplishments. Blue Ridge graduates have been provided the tools to go out in the world and be successful. Blue Ridge is thankful for all of the support from the policymakers, community leaders, and family members who took that time to attend graduation. For our graduates this is only the beginning…”