Ring that bell: Scarlett Emerson, Whitney M. Young valedictorian, begins next chapter
Tags: Career and Technical Training | Careers Begin Here | CNA | Graduation | Job Corps | pharmacy tech | Valedictorian | whitney m young job corps

Ring that bell: Scarlett Emerson, Whitney M. Young valedictorian, begins next chapter

When Scarlett Emerson claims that she started her career at Whitney M. Young Job Corps Center as a troubled kid, it’s hard to believe.

During her tenure at Whitney, recent graduate Emerson (CNA, Pharmacy Tech) managed to complete two trades, served as president of the Student Government Association, achieved perfect attendance, never received a write-up, was named valedictorian, started a college career, and received some of the highest test scores in her entire class – all during an educational career that began shortly before the COVID pandemic.

But as she tells it, before she entered Job Corps, Emerson had faced difficulty in multiple schools.

“I was kind of scared because I’d never left home,” she said. “We kind of ran out of options.”

Here, however, she excelled.

“I hadn’t learned to appreciate what adulthood would bring me,” she said. “I needed to learn what working hard meant, and being here has taught me that.”

And now, onwards and upwards – she harbors dreams of going from being licensed to assist nurses to being one herself.

“I’m going to continue to go to school to be an RN, and hopefully become a travelling nurse,” she said. “In the meantime, I’m going to be working at UofL Hospital downtown as a pharmacy technician.”

While it’s surprising to anyone who knows her now to learn that she was ever anything but a top student, just how much she’s achieved surprises even Emerson herself.

“I really didn’t think I would have achieved all that I have achieved,” she said. “I thought I would only do CNA, do advanced training to be an LPN and be done.”

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