CASSADAGA - The Cassadaga Job Corps Academy celebrated graduated 48 students.
The academy gym was filled with family, friends and staff, many of whom supported the class along their journey to graduation. While enrolled at the academy, the students completed training to begin a career in health care or construction and many also earned their GED or high school diploma. Ann Anderson, academy director, greeted those in attendance and thanked the graduates and their families for their hard work, dedication and commitment. Shattiana Martin, Student Government Association president and graduate, congratulated her classmates in her address. She asked that they continue to strive to be the best they can be and follow their hearts.
Acting as keynote speaker for this graduation ceremony was Anthony Dolce, Dunkirk mayor. Dolce discussed his experience as a teacher, telling the class that "there are few better pleasures in life than receiving a good education, gaining a strong work ethic and sustaining the drive to always do better in life." Dolce worked as an academic instructor at the academy until he was elected mayor.
Pictured is Anthony Dolce, Dunkirk mayor, with residents of Chautauqua County and surrounding area that were among the graduates at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy.
"I had the privilege of seeing what dedicated students can do when they put their minds to it," he said. "From a teacher's eyes, I have seen you grasp new ideas, new systems of understanding and implement them in your life for the better. I have seen students come in with so little, and leave with so much."
He concluded by congratulating the class and wishing them luck on the road ahead.
Included in the commencement exercise were several awards and scholarships recognizing top performing students from all areas of the academy. Those recognized for top performance in Career Technical Training were Anthony Herrera, carpentry; Matthew Saunders, CVS pharmacy technician; Jetta Moss, certified nurses' aide; Shana Brown, painting; Hector Martinez, plumbing; and Nicholas White, electrical. Students are recognized for top performance in trade are provided with a cash scholarship awarded by the Cassadaga Job Corps Community Relations Council. Jennifer Hazelton, academics manager, presented Ia Reh with overall top student for achievement in academics while Lee Reh was awarded with the best overall student from the Social Development Department by Sylvia Swan, social development director. Dayna Schultz, career transition services manager, recognized Hector Martinez for demonstrating outstanding employability skills. The Good Citizen Award, presented by Richard Chase, academy standards and incentives officer, was awarded to Shattiana Martin.
In 2012, the academy saw 272 students depart with their diploma, training certificate or both. Students will enter the workforce, college, the military or a Job Corps Advanced Training program once they depart Cassadaga. Job Corps provides training with a focus on ensuring students develop both the technical ability as well as employability skills. All students attend on a federal scholarship pending their eligibility as per Job Corps guidelines. While most students reside on campus, local students may be considered for non-residential status.
For more information, visit cassadaga.jobcorps.gov or call Adam Dolce, business and community liaison, at 595-4237.