Young Professional Gets Back On Track

Mt. Clemens Career Center

Alice Bargon enrolled with Michigan Works! Young Professionals as a high school senior at South Lake High School in March of 2016. During this time, Alice was 2 credits behind from being able to graduate with her peers as scheduled in June of 2016. Since Alice’s family lacked the finances needed to cover the credit recovery course fees totaling $800, she was referred to Michigan Works! by her high school counselor. Upon meeting with the Michigan Works! Young Professionals staff, she learned she could utilize Michigan Works! support services to cover these costs.Meeting Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) eligibility and suitability for enrollment, a plan was set for Alice to complete the needed credits. Arrangements were made with Clintondale Virtual School for Alice to start the first of four credit recovery courses that needed to be completed by May.

Unfortunately, a short time after enrollment, the Young Professionals’ case manager noticed Alice was falling behind again and not completing her classes as planned. The case manager could see that Alice is a bright student but like some teenagers, struggled with motivation and getting results. He met with Alice and together they came up with a plan which consisted of weekly contact to ensure she stayed on track. Small monetary incentives were also offered to encourage Alice as she made progress.

Within a short time, Alice showed great improvement and began completing the necessary courses. In the end, Alice proudly walked across the stage with her class in June 2016 as she was awarded a high school diploma. With the support of her mother who beamed with pride and the resources of the Michigan Works! Young Professionals, Alice completed high school graduation requirements on-time.

Alice states “honestly without the support and encouragement from the program, I probably would not have graduated. I would not have pursued what I’ve done and would not be as far in life as I am now.”Submitted by Jason Kezelian

Following graduation, Alice was offered a great opportunity to participate in a trip to Africa for a cultural exchange program sponsored by the Gibson-Griggs Odyssey Foundation. Earning a scholarship, Alice traveled to Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) West Africa for about two weeks in August as part of an educational and cultural exchange program between African American and African young people learning and exploring African culture and history.

Returning home, now ready and eager to enter the workforce, Alice participated in the Michigan Works! empowerment workshops. She developed a résumé, improved interviewing skills, and participated in customer service training. Hired at Best Buy as a gaming specialist, Alice continues working with the Young Professionals and is exploring enrollment in post-secondary education.

Submitted by Jason Kezelian