In July, Job Point graduates walked across the stage, shook hands with Mr. Steve Smith and took hold of their diploma. Their friends and families cheered for them as they posed for their photo, certificate in hand.
This singular moment was the culmination of all of their hard work.
One graduate shared that she had originally started her journey with Job Point in 2016. There had been a few false starts, but last year, she decided “this was it,” she was going to come back and pursue her certification in Highway Heavy Construction. She had her doubts at first, but she found a welcoming and encouraging team of instructors and advisors.
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“There are people you meet in life who give you strength,” she said during the ceremony. “When you think you can’t do something, but you can, they push you.”
Another graduate shared that through Job Point’s YouthBuild program, he had earned his high school equivalency diploma. Thanks to this achievement, he was proud to be the first in his family to attend college starting in August at Columbia College.
Education can unlock many doors and Job Point offers students an accessible pathway to education and the many opportunities that it provides. Through Job Point’s many relationships with employers, students enjoy the benefit of knowing someone on the inside when they go to find an internship or career opportunity.
In fact, so many businesses are actively reaching out to Job Point to recruit our students that some already have jobs lined up before they even graduate. One of the hallmarks of a Job Point graduation is the moment of celebration we have for each of our graduates who were unable to make it to the ceremony because they were out WORKING.
As one graduate took to the stage, she said “I just wanted to say for myself and all of my classmates who couldn’t be here today…” that they were thankful for the opportunities they found at Job Point and how much they appreciated the instructors investment in their progress – that they seemed like they truly cared about whether the students were learning.
During the program, Jerrell Morton, Director of Job Point’s YouthBuild program announced the renaming of the YouthBuild Hammer Award. Henceforth, it shall be known as the Thom Lutz Student of the Year Award, named in honor of Education Instructor, Thom Lutz, pictured above on the far left. Jerrell shared that Mr. Lutz is the shining example of what it means to persevere through all obstacles, stay true to the vision you have for your life and to find a way to make it happen. Many of Job Point’s students past and present rave about Mr. Lutz and how he helped them realize that learning can be fun, math is actually pretty cool and that if you strive to do anything in this life, it should be to never stop trying to improve yourself.
As Jerrell began to describe the first recipient of the Thom Lutz Student of the Year Award, there was a new kind of energy in the room. He described a young man who had walked into Job Point with a lot of uncertainty hanging over him. He wasn’t sure what his future held or how Job Point would play a role in helping him get there. Nevertheless, he continued to show up and put in the work. Through setbacks and challenges, he moved forward. He was once a 20-something high school dropout, but today that is no longer his story. And after he finishes at Job Point, this student plans on going on to higher education. Congratulations to Nik Harvey, our first ever Thom Lutz Student of the Year.
We celebrate all of these graduates. They have proven that they can stay focused, put in the work and achieve their dreams.