Ashbaugh, owner of The ABC Heart Foundation Thrift Store, received the Outstanding Community/Agency Partner Award. Allday, a certified nurse aide instructor at Southwest Technology Center, received the Outstanding Instructor of Non-Traditional Students Award. Farr, SWTC business manager, received the Outstanding Leadership Award.
Award recipients may be an individual, a government, private or non-profit agency that has provided services to CareerTech or community college students during the past 12 months.
“Making It Work Day” recognizes not only students, but individuals, businesses and industries and community leaders who are committed to removing barriers to success for families in poverty by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. Special recognition is also given to people who received acknowledgment for their efforts on a national level.
State and federal programs often cannot remove all the obstacles facing those living in poverty.
“A strong community partnership is a vital link in the employment chain from education and training to self-sufficiency,” said Michelle Jackson, president of OKCTEEC. Jackson is the coordinator of Project HIRE at Tulsa Technology Center. “We rely heavily on our community partners to provide learning opportunities outside of the classroom.”
Ashbaugh exemplifies that kind of partner as she honors her late sister known for helping those less fortunate. Ashbaugh started the thrift store in Altus, according to Pam Booker. Booker is the POWER program director at Southwest Technology Center in Altus.
“The store is full of nice second-hand clothes, household goods, toys, furniture which Deb has provided to POWER students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them,” Booker said. “She gives these items at no charge to provide men and women with professional dress clothes in the POWER program, helping them feel better about how they look as they prepare for an interview, the first day of work or make a house more like a home.
Though nurses are often assumed to be female, Allday acknowledges that male nurses are as sensitive, compassionate and capable as female nurses, according to Pam Booker, SWTC POWER program director.
“Before a new CNA class starts, Meltri meets with POWER staff to learn about the new students,” Booker said. “Understanding students who may have extenuating circumstances and unusual obstacles during their training period, she empowers them to become the best healthcare provider they can be.”
SWTC business manager and former POWER director, Farr takes a special interest in each student, meeting one-on-one with each during the enrollment process, according to Leslie Brown, job coach at SWTC.
“In addition of her own work responsibilities, Cassie is always willing to assist POWER to ensure accuracy in reporting,” Brown said.
The purposes of OKCTEEC are to increase effectiveness of education, promote research and strategies in education and educational equity, develop leadership, and provide advocacy for equity and diversity.
“These students are learning methods to independently continue their education while working to further improve the lives of their families,” said Lou Ann Hargrave, OKCTEEC adviser and CareerTech’s state coordinator for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. “By contributing to the professional development of students in poverty, we are able to improve the economic outlook for the future.”
OKCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council promotes communication and the use of resources for the education of disadvantaged students. OKCTEEC also creates linkages between students, educators, community partners, and business/industry leaders.
For more information about OKCTEEC, call Lou Ann Hargrave at 405-743-5128 or visit http://cteec.org/. For more information about CareerTech agencies, visit www.okcareertech.org/main/division/.htm.