The St Lucie County Schools Facilities and Maintenance Department has identified seven scholarship winners from 2011 Summer Youth Internship Program. They include John McDonald, Ft. Pierce Westwood, $2,000; Sandra Luxama, Ft. Pierce Central, $1,500; Tedra Turner, Port St. Lucie High, $1,000; Austin Fountain, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; La’Metria Bivens, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; Iman Hall, Ft. Pierce Central, $500; and Rafael Chavez, Ft. Pierce Central, $500. For the past four years the Facilities Department has raised all funds needed to support the Summer Internship Program, primarily through their biggest fundraiser, their Annual Golf Tournament. Through the dollars that are raised, not only are student interns paid wages they also are able to compete for college scholarships from funds raised. Since the inception of the Summer Internship Program, the Facilities Department has partnered with the Career and Technical Education Department to make the internships a reality. Regional workforce board Workforce Solutions has also collaborated allowing even more students who qualify for their services to participate in the internship program. It is a great win-win situation where student interns learn the soft skills necessary for employment. For many students the summer internship is their first job. Students learn the important expectations necessary to keep a job such as being on time, coming to work every day, communicating with a supervisor, communicating with a co-worker, returning from lunch on time, and many more skills that entry-level employees need. Thanks go to maintenance department bookkeeper Cindy Hill, secretary Regina Chester, senior bookkeeper Dainia Breakenridge, and project manager Gary Taylor have spearheaded this student opportunity. Their dedication and partnership with the Career and Technical Education Department has led to a very successful program that has grown, changed and improved each summer allowing more students to participate. Pictured is Austin Fountain as he assists Gary Taylor maintaining sports fields.
Outstanding volunteers were honored recently at Southport Middle School. Pictured is Youth Volunteer of the Year Jervana Graham-Record with her parents Ansel Graham-Record, left, Ann Graham-Record, center, with volunteer coordinator Pat Christian-McFadden. Not pictured are senior Volunteer of the Year Kathy Pritchard, Senior Volunteer of the Year, and Adult Volunteer of the Year Ruth Altvater.
Kaitlyn Deverson, a fifth grade student at Oak Hammock K8 School, came in first in her category at the Braille Challenge, a national program of the Braille Institute® hosted by regional schools and agencies that serve blind and visually impaired children. It is the only national braille literacy competition of its kind in the country, and is specifically designed to challenge and reward blind students for their study of braille, which is essential to their future academic and employment success. There were four regional events throughout Florida; Kaitlyn competed recently in the Ft. Lauderdale event which includes five age levels who compete in catagories such as reading comprehension, speed and accuracy, proofreading and tactile chart and graph reading. Competition spans the US and Canada, from which the top 60 will advance to the national contest in Los Angeles, California. Pictured is Kaitlyn with her Teacher for the Visually Impaired, Marci Marcotte.
The Port St. Lucie High School Jaguar Battalion Color Guard opened the school baseball team’s first season game, presenting the flags during the National Anthem. The Color Guard was led by cadet Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Jacobson, accompanied by cadet Second Lieutenant Jeremy Dardon, cadet First Sergeant Troy Conover, and cadet Corporal Robert Hobkins. A moment of silence was held during the presentation to honor the late Mr. Mike Picano, one of the original Jaguar teachers, who recently passed away. Following the baseball game, the Color Guard presented the colors during the National Anthem for the Jaguar Softball Team. The cadets performed outstandingly in both events, demonstrating a reason why the Jaguar Battalion has always been a successful unit.