G2J 2019

Grad Center students earn G2J certificates
Posted on 10/29/2019
Gateway 2 Jobs program representatives are pictured with the 2019 graduates.

A total of 13 students from the Graduation Center earned certificates to include on their resumes through Gateway 2 Jobs on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce. 

The annual Chamber-endorsed program brings in education officials, business owners and human resource managers to the credit recovery school to provide students tips on securing jobs. 

“I’m proud of you,” said Chamber President Steve Halter at the graduation luncheon. “No one’s forcing you to finish high school, so for you to wake up every day and go to school to get a degree means a lot.” 

Asked what they took away from the program, students variously replied: how to present oneself, making eye contact, exchanging a firm handshake and sending a thank you letter to employers, as well as obtaining basic budgeting skills. 

“In order to have success you may have to do some things that are going to make you a little uncomfortable, but this is how you grow,” said AT&T Regional Director Jomo Castro. AT&T—along with Briggs & Stratton, Health Partners Management Group, Kissinger & Kirkman Investment Centre, Productive Staffing and Walmart—sponsored the month-long program. 

Lifelong educator Gaelle Freer, at-risk teacher at the Graduation Center, was credited for her persistence in keeping G2J going for nine years and helping to add key elements over that time including scholarships. She hopes an internship component may be incorporated in the future. 

“A lot of these kids, the first thing they’re going to do when they leave here, is look for jobs,” explained Freer, who plans to retire this school year after devoting 39 and a half years to public education. “Sometimes students don’t always have the support system you’d like them to have, and they need that one little step up to be able to make it.”

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Cutline: Pictured with Gateway 2 Jobs program representatives, 2019 graduates included (in alphabetical order) Jasmyn Allen, Dylan Bradford-Greenlee, Ste’Shawn Carter, Brice Doles, Paige Glass, Hunter Grace, Cordell Harris, Ezequiel Hutton, Zechariah McDonald, Zackary Schwartz, Destiny Thompson, Caleb Weaver and She’Sa Dream Williams.

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