Jahkesha Abraham, KRA Program Manager, SCWorks One-Stop Career Center in the Lower Savannah Region of South Carolina, is always looking for ways to better serve the Region’s young people, especially those Out-of-School Youth (OSY) who did not complete high school, and need educational, training and/or job-placement assistance. Recently, she contacted the Guidance Counselors at Branchville Lockett, Calhoun County, Edisto, Lake Marion, and Orangeburg Wilkinson High Schools, as well as the Bethune-Bowman Middle High School, to provide them with information about the KRA/SCWorks OSY Program, including services available and the registration process.
Quickly, word spread from one Counselor to another that the Program was actively recruiting youth facing a severe barrier to employment…lack of a high school diploma. Based on students’ High School Assessment Program (HSAP) exam results…which public high-school students have to pass in order to graduate…Teachers and Counselors alike have a pretty accurate idea of which students are not going to qualify for graduation. Soon, calls started coming in from 12th grade students, or their parents, seeking information about the OSY Program. Counselors from Branchville Lockett and Edisto called with names and numbers of students who wanted to know more. However, Jocelyn Frederick, 12th grade Guidance Counselor, Lake Marion, requested that someone make a presentation to about 30 students who had not passed the most recent HSAP test. Even though they had one more chance to take the exam… consisting of English Language Arts and Mathematics…the fact that some had not passed the test the entire 4 years of their matriculation did not bode well for their ability to graduate.
In eager response to Frederick’s invitation, on March 5th, Abraham and Evelyn Stanley, KRA Career Agent, visited the school to speak with the students about the opportunities available to them through the KRA/SCWorks OSY Program. They provided information on KRA…its mission and vision…and how, through the SCWorks system, the company is dedicated to providing both In-School and OSY-students with intensive and vital services to help them decide how to move on successfully from this point in their young lives. Abraham answered questions from Frederick and the students, and at the end of the presentation, asked interested students to sign up for one-on-one orientation, intake, and registration, which would be conducted onsite at the school.
Abraham concluded, “Of course, I’ve coordinated this unique recruitment approach with the WIA Office to make this happen for the benefit of these students. Our staff will work with them to overcome their educational challenges and to show them that, with time, they can still be productive citizens with positive futures.”