A fun time of not only providing hope to the students, but a time of learning from students alike. You see, Ms. Olivares class comprises of high school students many of which English is not their first language, and who probably would not be able to reach their maximum potential in the traditional school model. In fact, some of her students are refugees seeking to re-build their lives here in the U.S. Refugees are legal citizens who have been forced to flee their home countries because of persecution, war, or violence (UNHCR). In her class are students from eleven countries; USA, Eritrea, Congo, Mexico, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, Myanmar, Burundi, and Iraq.
The North Texas Job Corps is part of the Job Corps program- a U.S. Department of Labor program that provides the nation’s biggest career technical training and education program for young people ages 16-24. Enrolled students can earn their high school diploma, a high school equivalency credential, or college credits while receiving career technical training in almost 100 career areas. Also, students receive free housing, meals, basic health care, and living allowance. The Job Corps program has 125 centers nationally, four of which are located in Texas.
I saw in Ms. Olivares and her class that “magic touch” educators possess. Though there were different cultures represented in the class, there was a shared focus of learning and aspiration. The curiosity of the students after engaging in the 3 P’s (Purpose, Passion and Pursuit) talk, revealed their understanding and determination. One student wanted to know how to stay motivated while pursuing his goals. Another student was interested in knowing how to stay connected since all his friends are in his home country. One student has the aspiration of becoming the President of the United States. Another student has the aspiration of going back to his home country to help his government and people. The most touching one for me, was the question asked by a student from Tanzania. He wanted to know one thing I could share with them that would ensure their purpose and ultimate success. What a depth of thought and mind! All students no matter the grade level, need these guideposts in their journey.
The students reminded me of the uniqueness and beauty of every human being. They reminded me of the capacity of resiliency only humans have. They reminded me the gift we all are to make a difference in our world. They reminded me of the high cost of growth everyone can pay to be a perpetual sparkle. They reminded me of you and I, that our lives are gifts not to be missed or hoarded. Rather, unwrapped and lived intentionally so that the fragrance we carry can leave an eternal effect on everyone we encounter.
If you know of any young person ages 16-24 that could benefit from this model of education, please share this post with him or her. To learn more about the North Texas Job Corps or take a tour of the beautiful campus contact Ms. Olivares at 972-542-2623. Love & Blessings!!
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him to help you do it, and He will.” Psalm 37: 5 (TLB)