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Dec 13, 2017

38 Grads from Youth Apprenticeship Program

The Youth Apprenticeship Program held another graduation today where more than thirty apprentices of the tenth intake graduated. According to the coordinators of the program, over one hundred of the graduates have gone on to find full-time employment and pursue formal academic studies. It started back in 2010 and targets at risk youths preparing them with life skills as well as a six-month job training with a business or organization. Andrea Polanco has more from today’s graduation.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

More than five hundred persons applied for the tenth intake of the Youth Apprenticeship Program, but only ninety-eight were accepted. And after months of on the job experience and skills training, only thirty-eight of the apprentices completed the program and received certificate. Graduates say that it was a challenging program but they stuck it out because they want a better life.

 

Lawrence Dawson

Lawrence Dawson, Graduate, Youth Apprenticeship Program

“Ketch and kill; ketch and kill. I actually do that all the years of my life. Ketch and kill. I do so many things – construction, mechanic, carpentry. But I struggle. I struggle. I work hard. So, I di mek sure I go dah school now fi try get something, educate myself a bit so that I stop work so hard. I tiad ah work suh hard inna my life.”

 

Joseph Edward Garcia Jr

Joseph Edward Garcia Jr., Graduate, Youth Apprenticeship Program

“It has been a struggle but I was determined that I want to be enrolled in an organization that would mold me into something different and better, so I have reached that goal so I am very glad right about now.  I am currently doing mechanic right now, I have intention to step up the levels, and hopefully one of these days I can open up a business and have a business of my own.”

 

Shakira Paulino

Shakira Paulino, Graduate, Youth Apprenticeship Program

“I dah wah school dropout and I mi di heng out with bad friends and thing. I have a friend weh introduce me to the program and that is how I decide fi come join the program and do something for myself because I know nothing deh out deh fi we.”

 

And measures were put in place to help the apprentice to follow the program guidelines and for those who didn’t there were consequences or they were kicked out of the program.

 

Dianne Finnegan

Dianne Finnegan, Coordinator, Youth Apprenticeship Program

“It is a strict program. So, if you miss three days or more from your job, you are pulled from the program because automatically the employer sees that you are not consistent so you won’t be hired full-time. If they are one minute late for work that is twenty dollars out of their hundred dollars. If they don’t go to work that is fifty dollars out of their hundred dollars. If their dress code is not appropriate that is fifteen dollars. If I get a report that they are on the job texting and texting that is ten dollars.”

 

Tyeisca Adolphus, once a school dropout, is an apprentice success story. She graduated from the program a few years ago and this year she completed her associate degree. She was propelled into national spotlight for a fight that “baby girl” went viral on Facebook.  But she didn’t want that to be defined by that– today she shared her story with the graduates.

 

Tyeisca Adolphus

Tyeisca Adolphus, Alumna, Youth Apprenticeship Program

“One day I decided I am going to give up the streets and stop hang out with different company and thing. And I decided I am going into this program and my friends told me about it and I thought it sound like something that I want. I was a drop out teenager from high school and I even heard that they were giving privilege to go back to school.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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1 Response for “38 Grads from Youth Apprenticeship Program”

  1. Belizean Citizen says:

    Property Taxes are asked to be paid way up to 2018 when being transferred to the new purchaser. FIrst, only a zero balance tax statement was enough, hmmm?

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