BUFFALO, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2014 - Students enrolled in programs offered by Catholic Charities Education and Workforce Development Department heard inspiring talks from four speakers who have been in the students' shoes, during a Day of Mentoring, fittingly held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 20).
Four local community members who have overcome adversity to achieve success spoke at the event hosted by the department and held at the St. Stanislaus Community Center in Buffalo.
Motivating presentations were given by Modie Cox, director of the Police Athletic League of Buffalo; Fred Lee, wide receiver for the University at Buffalo Bulls; Cecily Owens from the New York State Police Department of Narcotics; and Tawan Slaughter, owner of the Buffalo 716ers Premiere Basketball League Team.
All have battled adversity to achieve the careers they wanted and shared their stories to encourage students who may have faced or are currently facing similar situations to continue their education and set goals for the future.
"It really helps re-focus the students when we provide a real example of what hard work and determination looks like," said Darrell Slisz, education director for Catholic Charities Education and Workforce Development Department. "We want to show them that their current situation does not have to impact their success if they set goals and persevere."
Catholic Charities Education and Workforce Development Department helps to provide High School Equivalency test preparation and job readiness services to Erie County adults ages 16 and older. After receiving an educational/career assessment, students attend High School Equivalency classes and a counselor works with each student on job readiness skills and leadership training. In addition, the counselor helps students determine and work through their next steps, such as college placement.
Through a $1.1 million grant from Southwest Key Programs in February 2013, Catholic Charities was able to implement Project Jump Start, which provides educational, employment, case management and mentoring services to youth ages 14-17 who have been involved with the juvenile justice system within the last year and reside in the City of Buffalo. There are currently openings in that program for youth who meet the criteria and are looking to further their education and gain job readiness skills.
For more information, call (716) 893-3500 or go to ccwny.org.
In 2013, approximately 525 individuals received assistance through the department's efforts.
For 90 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in Western New York. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success. It is the most comprehensive human service provider serving Western New York. For the fifth consecutive year, Catholic Charities has attained the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives highest ratings for quality of service provided and financial health/accountability as rated by the Council on Accreditation and Charity Navigator.
Check out Catholic Charities at ccwny.org, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.