CASSADAGA - The Cassadaga Job Corps Academy recently celebrated and recognized the achievements of its most recent group of graduates. The commencement exercise recognized 41 young men and women who now prepare to begin the journey down their career path. The students have trained for careers in health care or construction; some have also obtained a High School Equivalency diploma while enrolled. The journey to this point is different for every student, based on their goals, past experience and particular skill set, but for all it is a day to celebrate and reflect on what has been accomplished.
Robert Benjamin, career development director, acted as master of ceremonies and Ann Anderson, academy director, delivered the opening remarks. She thanked the graduates for their hard work and dedication and the families and friends for the support they have provided to this class. She reminded the graduates "for those who have been given much, much is expected." Following Anderson's comments was graduate Candice Harris who read a speech on her career pathway. The graduates then were treated to a walk down memory lane with a special presentation, prepared by Ken Dahlin, featuring the graduate's baby and childhood photos then transitioning into their cap and gown photos.
Included in the commencement exercise were several awards and scholarships recognizing top performing students from all areas of the academy. Sylvia Swan, social development director, recognized Danyelle Jackson as a student that best represented the career success standards, core values and was a constant role model in the Social Development Department.
Pictured above is Cassadaga Job Corps graduate Brenda Olmo celebrating her graduation with her husband, Fidel and their children.
Brenda Olmo, of Fredonia, received the Career Transition Award from Vincent Trippi, workforce development director. Adam Dolce, business and community liaison awarded Mike Flanagan with the Community Improvement Award for outstanding volunteerism. In addition to the certificate Flanagan also received a letter of thanks from County Executive Vince Horrigan for his service to the community. Richard Chase presented the Outstanding Citizen award to Yateko Downer, for modelling positive behavior and mentoring others. Two awards were given out through the generosity of the Community Relations Council, one for top academic student and the other for top career technical training student. Jennifer Hazelton, academics manager, presented Downer with overall top student for academic achievement. Starling Franco was awarded the Best Overall CTT Award by Richard Orloff, career technical training manager. The awards included a cash prize donated by members of the Academy's Community Relations Council.
The ceremony was concluded by Benjamin, who reminded the graduates that your outlook and attitude are important factors in your life by quoting Zig Ziglar, "your attitude will determine your altitude." He thanked all of those in attendance for joining the staff, students and graduates. He concluded the ceremony by introducing the class and giving the order to toss the caps.
Job Corps provides training with a focus on ensuring students develop both the technical ability as well as critical employability skills today's competitive workforce demands. 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 or to inquire about hiring Job Corps graduates please visit or call Dolce at 595-4237.