AroundAbout Local Media (ALM) asked the Cherokee Youth Works staff at Cherokee FOCUS to recommend a student deserving of a helping hand. Each year ALM awards a Trailblazer scholarship to a local student who is working hard to earn a college degree or learn a trade. Isaac Cross was chosen to receive the 2016 award.
“We could not be prouder of Isaac and the efforts he made to obtain his GED and his determination to have a successful college career. It’s the opportunities that young adults like Isaac choose to take and the support of scholarships like this, that make goals and dreams become realities and in the end benefits us as a community,” said Sonia Carruthers, executive director of Cherokee FOCUS.
Isaac earned his GED in August 2015 and enrolled in Chattahoochee Technical College, where he is studying diesel mechanics. The direction and support given Isaac by the folks at Cherokee FOCUS gave Isaac the boost he needed to pursue a career in which he could succeed.
“My biggest obstacles in life have always been school and education related. It never really mattered how hard I tried or didn’t try, it always seemed to be the same, just barely passing. It was especially hard in high school. I felt flooded with tests and did not have enough time to really learn or remember anything,” Isaac said.
“So at the age of 16, a month before freshman year ended, I dropped out. I did try and go back during sophomore year but that only lasted a month. Next I tried online school, until I was kicked out. I had no clue what to do or what my future was going to hold. Then I came to FOCUS. They were the first place that helped and they pushed me to learn. With their help, I was actually able to overcome my obstacles in learning and get my GED. I started classes at Chattahoochee Technical College to become a diesel mechanic. Because it’s mechanics, school is fun for me now and I really understand what I am doing. In 18 months I will have a skill and a career and be able to support myself and help my family.”
Congratulations, Isaac! Our best wishes for a prosperous future!
Isaac benefited from mentorship he received through Cherokee Youth Works, a program of Cherokee FOCUS, is a 501(c)3 collaborative that exists to improve the lives of the children and families of Cherokee County. The goal of Cherokee Youth Works is to see youth achieve their education and employment goals. Each Cherokee Youth Works participant works with a workforce development specialist to create a personalized plan to achieve his or her goals. The Cherokee Youth Works program provides a comprehensive portfolio of services including paid and unpaid work experience, GED preparation and testing, work readiness training, college preparation, and life skills training. Enrollment in the Cherokee Youth Works program is free to participants who qualify. www.cherokeefocus.org.