By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Friday, May 19, the Gadsden Job Corps Center honored more than 60 students during its summer graduation ceremony.
The program began with the processional of graduates and the presentation of colors by Job Corps cadets. Business and Community Liaison Manager Harold Carpenter gave the Invocation.
Student Representative Jacob Smith gave a welcome speech to the crowd.
“I wish each and every person here today a happy and successful life,” said Smith. “Go out into this world and be the change we need so desperately.”
Carpenter then introduced Etowah County Circuit Judge William B. Ogletree as the keynote speaker. Ogletree graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Communications in 1984. He graduated from UA’s School of Law in 1987. He also played for the University of Alabama football team in 1979 and 1980 under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.
Ogletree began to work in private practice in Gadsden, Tuscaloosa and Greensboro in 1988. He worked as a deputy district attorney in Etowah County before being appointed as a circuit judge in 2010. He was elected as Circuit Judge in 2012, where he continues to serve today.
Ogletree and his wife, Diana, have six children and two grandchildren. They attend The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
Ogletree encouraged the graduating students to build on the foundation that Job Corps has provided them.
“If you take that foundation, you apply yourself each and every day, wake up drop to your knees, ask for help, and you do everything in your power,” said Ogletree. “Stay the course and I promise you, you will become what it is that God has intended for you.”
Ogletree also asked graduates what their goals were. He told the students to apply themselves to their goals.
After Ogletree spoke, Career Success Director Corey Dansby recognized the graduates while Job Corps Center Director Eric Jones presented them with their diplomas.
The graduates were also given a rose. After the presentation of diplomas, graduates presented the roses to someone who supported them on their journey toward graduation.
Graduates included Margurie Ali, Destiny Atkins, Marcus Bias, Quantane Brown, Tichina Burt, Juwan Chamblish, Devonte Crisp, Sean Criswell, Jasmine Crosby, Brooklyn Dailey, Derrick Davis, Antrice Dees, Deontae Farris, Mariana Fernandez, Alexis Fields, Janelius Foreman, Eulalia Francisco, Shannon Gable, Jaylen Glenn, Shatori Glenn, Kambranisha Grooms, Chandlar Heard, Dakota Hill, Montana Hollenquest, Kimberly Holmes, Amy Howell, Thaddeus Hoyt, Christopher Jackson, Cordarius Jackson, Kyila Jackson, Lamont Jackson, Darrius Johnson, Corey Johnson-Humphrey, Akeem Jones, Jacqarius Jones, Tre’shaun Jones, Victor King, Jovita Lake, Christa Latham, Kristyn Long, Titus Lyles, Whitney Martin, Tyler McNickle, Bre’Anna Miles, Jumika Nathaniel, Stephanie Pettus, LaToria Rembert, Myesha Rice, Price Robbins, Jr., Elijah Robinson, Levi Rohde, Jeremey Shaw, Deonte Slaughter, Demarcus Snead, Vonnice Southall, Jeremy Stewart, Randall Strickland II, Fredrick Thomas, Zetavia Trappier, Tyler Waid, Kelvin Watkins, Shekeda Williams, Shy’Diamond Williams, Justin Wilson, Deshawn Witherspoon and Rodsheda Youngblood.
Three students were presented with rings for already obtaining a job in their fields. The remaining graduates will receive rings as they become employed.
After the graduation, the Job Corps recognized two employees that are leaving. Business and Community Liaison Manager Harold Carpenter is leaving to work at a church ministry. Captain Shirley Henderson is leaving to work at another Job Corps.