Second GO Transition Academy graduation approachesRich Stigall
In its third year of operation, the GO Transition Academy (formerly known as Pathways) is preparing for its second graduation on Saturday, August 20, 2016. Graduation represents the culmination of a 2-year period of discipleship and training dedicated to preparation for life after the village. This year’s graduation will include 34 students, representing 18 students from the villages of the GO Project church partners and 16 students from the community. Twelve students will graduate from the apparel program, 11 from the agricultural program, and 11 from the mechanical program.
The 2015-2016 school year included 54 GO Transition Academy students, plus an additional 24 students from the surrounding community. Some students specialized in agriculture and mechanics while others gained sewing and cooking skills. Two of the students are finishing high school rather than participating in the job-skills program. Please pray for these two students as they complete national exams.
The first class of the GO Transition Academy (formerly Pathways), which began in 2013, graduated in August 2015.
The capstone project for seniors at the GO Transition Academy emphasizes job planning. Students are required to develop a timeline for starting their own business or finding a job. The seniors have also practiced interviewing, gaining valuable skills in communicating their experience and skill set. Most of the Academy’s first graduates were able to find employment, and Academy leadership is hopeful for a similar outcome for this year’s graduating students.
Throughout July and August, Academy students participated in internships in their respective field of study. Some worked at nearby Haiti Broilers, a local producer of chickens. Others gained experience at LIFE SA, the sewing center at the GO Guesthouse, or local kitchens. Under the supervision of the Academy staff, the internships offered a first glance at life after the village. Students were required to travel to their internships, manage their own money, be punctual, work on a team, use listening skills, complete tasks in a timely manner, and follow instructions from bosses, among other requirements. For many students, this was the first time in their lives to accept these responsibilities.
Outside of their job-skills training, the students have also participated in life-skills programs. This year, these programs included Bible study, English, French, math, computer skills, and general life skills. The Academy is built on the principles of hands-on learning, so 80% of the students’ time is dedicated to practicing their respective trade. However, these classes make up a vital component of the students’ training, reinforcing the importance of a strong work ethic, self-discipline, integrity, and good character.
The Academy is not without its difficulties! Monitoring the attitude and behavior of 54 students on one campus remains a challenge, and new policies were implemented in the current year regarding class attendance, etiquette, and work ethic. Also, healthcare for the students and staff remains a primary concern. Four students had surgery throughout the year, and one of the Academy teachers was in car wreck. Both the students and staff are recovering.
The effectiveness and sustainability of the GO Transition Academy is dependent upon the contributions to The Global Orphan Project. Extracurricular activities, monthly stipends, graduation, and health care expenses are additional costs of the Academy. Thank you for your gifts!
By September 1, 70 students are expected to be enrolled for the upcoming school year. As part of the 2016-2017 school year, we will be providing more information on the students in the program. If you would like to support a specific student in the program, please contact Ryan Hudnall at [email protected].
Wilson Novembre, 20, studied in the mechanical track and will graduate from the GO Transition Academy, along with 33 other students, on August 20, 2016.