OIC of Ouachita enrolling students for fall semester, offering free medical & business training

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Charlin Brown, 53, is a two-time cancer survivor who is typing her way to a better life. 

“I only had my high school diploma and i needed something else to put under my belt. Computers are more advanced in the world today, so for me to learn more about that I was thinking that would give me a better chance at trying to find some other employment,” said Brown. 

Inside this building is where she got a head start. It doesn’t look like a typical college, but training director Marilyn Hunter says the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Ouachita can give you the tools you need to succeed.

“People look at the size of a building and determine whether or not it’s going to be effective for them. 
The outside is not what counts it’s the quality education they are going to get inside,” said Hunter.  

Located in the heart of East Monroe OIC has been providing free education to people in the community for 43 years.

OIC offers national certification in business and medical training as well as a GED program and after-school tutoring at no cost. 

“We are funded now from united way and we also receive a small state appropriation. That allows us to provide education for all of the students,” said Executive Director, William Smith.

The program is also helping students like 24-year-old mother of two Jalisa Wilhite fulfill their dreams. 

“I never in a million years saw myself being a medical assistant, because I thought it was hard and a lot to do. A lot of knowledge to learn, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought especially when you have people pushing you and there for you.”

their goal of oic improving the quality of life for those faced with disadvantages. And Brown says she is well on her way.

“You got expand your self. If not then you aren’t going to learn,” said Brown. 

The OIC is currently accepting students for the fall semester until Labor Day.There is a $10 application fee. You can call 318-325-1678 or visit their Monroe location at 3710 Dunlop Street. 

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