They did it! Our Palmer Pathways graduates completed 100 hours of Postsecondary Readiness Training, the first step on their way to a family-wage career in the trades. Palmer Scholars staff and Board as well as many of the facilitators and mentors who supported the program throughout the training period celebrated Pathways Scholars in a virtual graduation on June 18th.
Palmer Pathways’ inaugural cohort included 11 Scholars. Due to financial stresses associated with the COVID-19 epidemic, Pathways staff elected to help 6 Scholars attain immediate employment without going through our Postsecondary Readiness Training. The remaining 5 Scholars persevered through 13 weeks of training-in the midst of a global pandemic, no less! “This feat was not a small one or an easy one,” Director of Postsecondary Success, Christina Rupp said.
The Scholars also engaged in over 50 hours of lifework outside the online classroom. Together with Palmer Scholars staff, Scholars conducted research and engaged in deep reflection to develop career plans. “This ability to persevere, even during the most challenging of times, speaks volumes about the strength, adaptability and determination of these young men to build their futures. All are welcome to celebrate their achievements!” Rupp said.
The Pathways Scholars only had one opportunity to meet in person before Gov. Inslee instated the Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order in March. Staff were quick to adapt, changing all instruction to online and providing certification opportunities in First Aid/CPR, Flagging, and OSHA10 so Scholars could attain gainful employment while still completing their readiness training.
What’s next for our Scholars? 4 will be starting their studies at Clover Park Technical College while one is ready to enter the workforce. Wayne Bridges, Training Director and Coordinator at Independent Technicians Automotive Committee and Palmer Pathways presenter said it best, “When I see these 5 men, I know the future is bright.”