50 high school students are ready to tackle the jobs of the future.
“They have learned they’re ready to go and i feel like the future’s bright for each and every one of them,” Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Louisiana, Jquiela Dorsey, said.
It’s all thanks to a group effort. A program that’s been helping kids for 14 years.
Chase Leadership Academy is a program that helps high school juniors and seniors in Ouachita Parish and Monroe City Schools get ready for life after the classroom.
It’s a program that seems to be getting better every year.
“We’ve been able to work together as a team to have overall success,” Dorsey said.
Students like Ma’ Kiya Williams, a senior at Ouachita High School, have come a long way.
She gives the mentors in program credit for breaking her out of her shell and preparing her for the workforce.
“I would talk too quietly and I wouldn’t sound very confident in myself,” she said.
“We’re really proud to see students say that she’s come so far they all have in different ways,” Dorsey said.
The students learn about handling finances as well as how to succeed in a job interview.
Stephan Luss, a Neville High School alum, is an example that finishing the program is just the beginning.
“They just pushed me out there and said you can do this and it made me believe in myself,” he said.
He says he was prepared for the program to get them ready for life after high school, but for him that was sooner than he thought.
He realized a group of mentors wanted to help him get to his dreams.
“Growing up I always wanted to work for Chase,” he said.
They wasted no time making his dream come true.
Just a year after he left the program, he’s getting he’s pursuing a degree at the University of Louisiana Monroe and working at his dream job with a desire to move up in the company.
Luss says the Chase Leadership Academy was the push he needed along the way.
“All the mentors everyone that’s a part of the program that worked with our students they did everything they could to push us to where we wanted to go.
For more on the local organizations involved visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Louisiana website below: