Dorethea Richmond remembers walking into Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center’s central office for the first time and being hit with a flood of memories.
“It was almost overwhelming,” she said. “It was a real good feeling. I felt like this was home to me.”
Richmond currently serves as a records clerk at Whitney. She’s been here for nearly 20 years, but when she first started, she already had a history with the center.
Before that, she was deeply entwined with the Lincoln Institute, the all-Black boarding school that Berea College founded when they were legally barred from teaching integrated classes of students. She had family who worked there and lived around the campus, and even attended the school for a couple years. Today, the same property is home to Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center.
Richmond’s mother and father both worked on campus, as well as her grandfather. Her grandparents also lived nearby, and she came on campus every Sunday to have supper with her family – then, when the meal was done, she would explore the campus. She was deeply acquainted with the campus and the services it provided.
And she saw the types of students they tended to get.
“The quality and the morale and the discipline of the students was unbelievable,” she said.
But it was hardly a surprise, with such a devoted faculty.
“They would go above and beyond, they would stay late,” she said. “They were truly like moms and dads to all these students.”