By Kristi M Sorrow
LAKE WORTH, FLA. —Palm Beach State College Corporate and Continuing Education (CCE) department and Love, Hope & Healing, Inc., a nonprofit organization, have partnered to develop a five-week Career Exploration Summer Program.
The program will be for 20 underserved, underrepresented youth ages 15 and 16 from the Riviera Beach area and will be held Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon June 6 through July 11 (no class the week of July 4) on PBSC’s Lake Worth campus.
Each week, participants will be provided 12 hours of training and insight into the following career fields: trades, healthcare, public safety, business and computers and cosmetology. At the end of the program, each participant will receive a certificate of completion from PBSC.
“Growing up, we’ve seen the effects of the system and the lack of access in our communities, even still today,” said Donte and Yolanda Bates, cofounders of Love, Hope & Healing, Inc. in a joint statement. “The children are our future and will always be, especially during this difficult pandemic time. We are here to change the narrative by giving our students access to experienced professionals coupled with actual tools that will set them up for success.”
“Part of PBSC’s mission is to transform lives and strengthen our community, and the collaboration with Love, Hope & Healing is helping us to fulfill our mission,” said PBSC CCE’s Director Jenny Posadas. “Our common goal is to help our youth have an outlet to explore possible careers and avoid an unhealthy path. In today’s world, our young population faces challenges that are unique to our lives; therefore, we need all firsthand deck.”
A kick-off event was held May 19 at the Lake Worth campus with program participants and their families, PBSC staff, the Bates, Alan Bottorff, a Love, Hope & Healing board member, City of Riviera Beach Mayor Ronnie Felder, attorney Edwin Ferguson, the PBSC drumline and other community leaders.
“Often times we are told that post high school education is the only path to reach success,” said Bottorff. “What is missing in that statement is that many have different passions when it comes to what is next. Although I am a true believer in education, it would be bias to think that trade programs are secondary to the traditional education path. To me, it’s just another option.”
Posadas says that the College’s commitment to the community will not stop with Love, Hope, & Healing. She hopes to partner with other organizations to offer more of these types of programs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Love, Hope & Healing to help increase access to opportunities for these local teens,” said Deborah Gordon, PBSC CCE’s business and education development partner. “The careers that students are being introduced to through this program will help put them on a path to economic stability and financial independence throughout their lives.”
PBSC’s CCE department provides businesses and the community with quality professional education & training and lifelong learning opportunities. For more information, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/CCE.
Love, Hope & Healing’s mission is to provide self-care and mentoring resources that will create lasting changes in families in our community. For more information, visit www.1lovehopehealing.org.