KRA Out-of-School Youth Excels Academically

David Amaker, 19, lives with his grandmother, who is his biggest fan. It was her motivation and loving support that on January 30, 2012, led him to attend a WIA (Workforce Investment Act) Orientation at the Lower Savannah Council of Governments’ Orangeburg SCWorks Center.  After careful assessment of David’s situation, Stephanie Evans, a member of the Certification Staff, recommended that his specific educational goals and career objectives would be better served by KRA.  Following through on Evans’ referral, David was assigned to Jahkesha Abraham, KRA Career Agent, who conducted another orientation, this one focused on KRA’s Out-of-School Youth Program.   

Abraham scheduled David for the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) to assess his Math and Reading abilities. No one, with the possible exception of his grandmother, could have been more excited about his TABE scores than Abraham.  She reported, “In both categories, David achieved the highest possible grade equivalent scores…12.9! He was reading and doing math at the college level, which made him an ideal candidate for the Fast-Track GED [General Education Development] Program at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College [OC].  David began classes on March 26th, and on May 2nd, achieved his first educational goal by passing the GED exam*…with a combined score of 3130 out of a possible 4000!”  As a result of this accomplishment, David not only received his SC High School Equivalency Diploma, but also a Certificate of Achievement; a Gold Medal for Superior GED Examination Scores; an Honor Graduate Plaque; and a request from his OC Instructor that he consider tutoring other students. 

David was interested in automotive, computer, and welding careers. However, during career-coaching sessions with Abraham, realized that he could combine two of the three if he concentrated on the automotive industry; a knowledge of computers is required to diagnose and repair today’s automobiles, as a new car has 10 to 15 on-board computers, operating everything from the engine to the radio.  Next, David completed his Job-Readiness Workshop program, facilitated by Dirk Lary, KRA Career Agent, and on May 21, 2012, was placed with D&G Motors for a paid Work Experience Program (WEP) that provided him valuable work skills and the opportunity to explore various areas of the automotive industry.

David successfully completed his WEP on June 29, 2012, more convinced than ever that this was the career choice for him. Abraham concluded, “David is registered at OC for a 2-year Automotive Technology Program that begins on August 13, 2012.  Dirk and I wish him all the best, and are confident that he will continue to excel in his studies and in his future career.”    

*In South Carolina (SC), approximately 8,500 adults take the GED exam each year.  Sixty percent earn passing scores and are awarded a SC High School Equivalency Diploma.  Graduating SC high school seniors are administered portions of the GED examination. The passing score is set at a point where four out of 10 graduating seniors do not pass the GED test on their first attempt.  

David Amaker...Academic Award Winner