This month’s author, Vicky Perkins, is a long-time Career Specialist in CYC’s Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates program. Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates is a credited in-school elective equipping students with 37 core character competencies that prepare them for post-secondary enrollmenet, employment, or enlistment. The JCG program is the local chapter of the statewide Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates program, and the nationwide Job for America’s Graduates (JAG) program. Vicky Perkin is a passionate and inspired instructor, and shares her own perspective on the new school year.
It’s that time of year again: Back to school! Yay! When I was a kid, I was so excited for everything this time of year meant: meeting my new teachers, making new friends, spending time with the friends I had already made from years past, getting new school clothes and, yes, the new school supplies. I loved getting new school supplies! And I couldn’t wait to learn new things.
Now, as a CYC Career Specialist with the Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates program, the excitement is still there. The excitement is there for some of the same reasons, but also for some that are different. I still look forward to buying new “school clothes,” and the new school supplies are just as fun. But the things that are different have everything to do with the excitement of meeting my new students. What will they be like? Will they be as excited about the Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates class as I am? What will they teach me?
You see, even though the program is the same each year, every year is different. Each student comes to class with such different life experiences, and it’s through those different experiences that I learn how to be a better Career Specialist. I have taught students who are homeless, who worry about where their next meal will come from, whose parents struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, students who have children of their own or are pregnant. Through the relationships that I build with them, I have learned to be more patient, loving, how to be a good listener, and the importance of giving unconditionally. Many of my students feel to me like the children that I’ve never had.
The Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates class will be one of the most important classes that they will ever take, and I do my best to arm them with as much information and as many skills as possible so they can live happy and fulfilling lives.
Every year there is one student or a handful of students that touch my heart in a special way, leaving me forever changed. I wonder: who will it be this year?
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