Excitement was in the air at St. Joseph Plaza June 23 as New Community Workforce Development students lined up in caps and gowns to receive their diplomas. Families were in attendance to recognize the graduates of Academic Enrichment, Certified Medical Assistant Program, Construction Building Trades, Culinary Arts and Patient Care Technician.
Workforce Development Director Rodney Brutton served as the master of ceremonies and pointed out that many of the graduates not only completed the programs, but also had jobs lined up.
One was Culinary Arts graduate Shoneequa Sprinkler, who landed a job as a prep/line cook at an upscale restaurant on Staten Island.
New Community CEO Richard Rohrman told the graduates to take on each new challenge with confidence and to be a positive influence to those around them.
Academic Enrichment graduate Shadajah McNeil embodied that sentiment. She said she enrolled when it was difficult for her to find a job to support her two children. The hard work and effort she put in paid off. She’s now happily employed at NJ Transit.
“To my kids, never give up on your dreams. You can do anything you put your mind to,” she said. “To NCC, thank you for helping me and believing in me. You rock!”
Essex County District 2 Freeholder Wayne Richardson, who was born and raised in Newark, served as the graduation keynote speaker. He had a message of hope, telling graduates that this step in their lives opens doors and provides more opportunities to be successful.
“The sky’s the limit. There’s nothing you can’t do,” he said.