A fitting event for March 4th, the Centura College Chesapeake campus welcomed guests to their March Into Your Vision, Vision Board Workshop for an evening of networking, goal setting and fun!
The workshop started off with visitors grabbing snacks and getting to know their neighbors before the fun started. Then, the night kicked off with a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament that got everyone energized and ready.
The event brought out a diverse group of individuals from, entrepreneurs to career coaches to realtors. While working on their vision boards, guests were guided through ten steps to success that included tips and tricks on how to effectively network, proper interviewing techniques, and how to master your career search. Guests even learned a quick way to always be prepared for the often dreaded, elevator speech.
As the night went on the guests shared their goals for 2019 and beyond, but took it a step further by talking about how they were going to achieve those goals. Stories were shared about how some of the guests had to overcome obstacles on their path to success, and everyone in the room encouraged them to keep pushing!
Everyone who came left with more than just a poster board full of cutouts; they all took away useful tools to push them further toward their goals — and even a few new friends!
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu
A small team of local filmmakers have completed work on a documentary of an Army veteran, Toby Yarbrough, and his service dogs Duke and Sasha. The film gets its origin from the novel The Quiet Healing, which was authored by Yarbrough and published in 2017. The film premiered at a special screening at Regent University on Saturday, January 19th.
A Story of Perseverance and Healing
The film tells the story of Yarbrough, the traumatic injury
he suffered during his time in the Army, his struggles with PTSD upon the end
of his service, and how his service dogs saved his life in more ways than
“The most important thing people should take away from this
film is that this is just one man’s story, but so many others suffer from
similar situations that Toby does,” says Andrew Lauto, director of the film.
“It’s a story about struggles, hurt, pain, perseverance, love, and
companionship. If you like dogs, support the military, or just want to listen
to a feel-good story, this film is for you.”
From the Classroom to the Big Screen
The Quiet Healing project was partially funded by a collaboration of a trio of local educational institutions, Centura College, Aviation Institute of Maintenance, and Tidewater Tech. Yarbrough is a graduate of Centura College’s Chesapeake campus.
“We are so proud to be able to support a student who has
given so much to serve his country. Toby was a tremendous student and a true
inspiration to everyone around our campus,” says Ashley Oden, Campus Executive
Director at Centura College Chesapeake. “When he told us he was writing a book
and that it was going to be made into a film, we knew we wanted to be a part of
helping him tell his story.”
All proceeds from ticket sales for the premiere were to be donated to Heal the Warriors and prior to the showing, a check for $5,400 was presented to Heal the Warriors. Heal the Warriors provides access to much-needed services to our veterans and first responders who suffer from traumatic service-related brain injuries.
Also as part of the premiere ceremony, Dr. Joel English, Vice President of Centura College, announced the creation of a scholarship program called the Yarbrough Scholarship for Disabled Veterans. This scholarship will be awarded to one disabled veteran each year.
The school groups of Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura Colleges and Tidewater Tech have reached out to their community and volunteered their time for a number of organizations. The staff at these institutions have chosen to serve their communities by volunteering their time, talent and support to causes that are meaningful to their communities. Here are just a few examples where are campuses have provided inspiration and hope to their community.
Centura Columbia Lends Helping Hands in Support of Flood Victims
On Friday, April 20, 2018, Centura College Columbia partnered with St. Bernard’s Place to assist a homeowner reclaim his residence after the devastating effects of flooding. St. Bernard’s Place is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping citizens of an affected area restore their lives after a natural disaster. Parts of South Carolina were hit hard in 2015 by Hurricane Joaquin, resulting in catastrophic flooding that left scores of citizens displaced. Many people are still rebuilding some two years later.
A team of ten from the Columbia campus, consisting of staff and students, arrived at the location and got an assessment of the resident’s needs. The cohort was broken into groups and assignments were given. Some helped strip paint from baseboards and door trim, others applied fresh paint to other parts of the home, while the remaining manned table saws and sanders to repair water damaged woodwork. The students represented our Building Maintenance and Repair (BMR), Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Medical Assisting programs.
In all, the team worked on site from 8:30 am-12 noon and assisted in the ongoing progress toward completing the restoration. The campus has pledged its support in future activities and looks forward to serving the Midlands community at large.
AIM Indianapolis Joins Forces with Local Elementary School to Provide Bikes to Children
The Indianapolis campus of Aviation Institute of Maintenance is on a mission. The goal: to provide bikes to the children of a local elementary school. See AIM Indianapolis’s plans in an excerpt from a letter drafted by its Campus Executive Director, Andy Duncan.
“I can still remember my first “big boy” bike. No more training wheels for this guy. This new bike looked like a motorcycle with big orange fenders, long black seat, silver frame (complete with motor cycle decal), and knobby tires. I can remember the initial ride down the street into the ditch and abrupt stop when I hit the concrete wall at the end of ditch. The memory is firmly planted in my head of this event from over forty years ago. If you are like me you remember your first bike or first “big boy or girl” bike and it brings a smile to your face. For lots of kids they will never know that felling. It is simply beyond the reality of the life they live for their family to afford such a luxury.
We at Aviation Institute of Maintenance want to do something about this. The AIM Indianapolis campus is on a mission to help recreate the feeling I and so many others have of getting a new bike. We have partnered with McClelland Elementary school to help this dream become a reality.
McClelland Elementary school has over 1000 students and due to the socioeconomic condition of a large portion of the students all students qualify for free breakfast and lunch. McClelland is home to a fairly significant homeless population of students as well. We, AIM, found our place to help bring some smiles simply by providing bikes. Now that the partnership has been set we have to get the word out as to what we are doing.
We have reached out to our partners in Aviation, friends & family, and other businesses to help with donating gift cards toward this effort. The students and faculty of AIM have graciously volunteered their time to assemble the bikes as they arrive. McClelland is choosing the criteria for the students that will receive the bikes and on May 25th we will head over to the school bikes in hand for delivery day.
As I write this 28 bikes and helmets have been ordered, 18 assembled, and ten more in route to us. We still have a couple weeks to collect a few more and as of right now several others are promised to us. We are looking forward to seeing the children when they receive their bikes. I know what having a bike meant to me as a child and I know that events like this show the community what Aviation Institute of Maintenance is all about. We train mechanics. We help people have a better future in their new career and we give bikes to kids who need them. That is who we are and that is what we do. I like the sound of that.”
Tidewater Tech Staff and Students Volunteer at Local Church to Serve Lunch to Community
Tidewater Tech staff and students volunteered locally with Norfolk’s Christian Fellowship Church on Tuesday, April 17th from 12-2pm during their lunchtime fellowship. Tidewater Tech volunteers worked together in providing lunch to serve the church, veterans, civilians, and homeless members of our local Norfolk community. Additionally, resources were also provided for those seeking help with housing or financial hardships. Christian Fellowship’s purpose is to provide an intimate environment of learning, fellowship, support, accountability and community outreach. Christian Fellowship educates and gives back to the community through seeking volunteers for, in addition to offering, education advancement, IT, kid’s kingdom, finance team and literacy, regular food service, building and grounds, marketing, office, and administrative support, music and singing, Christian education, transportation resources, nursing, and other special events. This being said, Tidewater tech was delighted to be able to offer lunch and resources, and to overall play role in aiding such a great organization. The experience of serving others, knowing the increasing amount of people facing hunger, left a truly powerful and uplifting impact for participants in seeing the appreciation of those served.
These are just a few shining examples of students and staff at AIM, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech personify the mission of our brands to truly connect communities and careers.
Other instances of our campuses doing their part to help out their communities include:
AIM Atlanta teaming up with Greater Gwinnett Wetlands and the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources to clean up Bromolow Creek and surrounding wetlands.
AIM Irving collecting food for the North Texas Food Bank.
AIM Houston lending a helping hand and meeting with residents and business owners at annual Hobby Fest.
AIM Las Vegas partnering with Ronald McDonald Charity House and baking cookies for a family staying there.
AIM Mannasass welcoming the Manasass City Boys and Girls Club to their campus for a fun-filled day.
AIM Oakland holding a food drive for those in need in the community.
Centura Chesapeake holding a community yard and craft sale, with proceeding benefiting the Samaritan House.
Centura Norfolk medical assisting students providing wellness checks for members at the KROC center.
Be sure to check our blogs and follow us on Facebook for updates on these and more stories of community outreach.
The faculty that forms the Student Services Department plays a key role in helping you through your college journey. Student Services includes different branches of a campus to aid you in addressing specific needs. Below you can find information on the departments that help maintain order on campus:
Career Services – If you are a graduate, or you are about to graduate, Career Services can provide assistance when it comes to searching for jobs. They help with writing resumes and will coach you on proper interview attire and etiquette. They will even performing mock interviews in preparation for the real thing. Career Services arranges opportunities for employers to come to the campus to encourage you to meet with them face to face.
Bursar – The Bursar Department assists with billing, monitoring your account balances and collecting balances due.
Financial Aid – The Financial Aid Department breaks down the specifics on your financial aid options. They will also provide information on grant or scholarship opportunities.
Librarian/Learning Resource Center Assistant – A Librarian, or Learning Resource Center Assistant, provides tools, books and other reference materials that can help you with studying or assignments.
Registrar – The Registrar Department maintains order when it comes to things like: attendance and student records, grades, transfer/transcript information, and class enrollments.
Student Services – A Student Services Coordinator establishes relationships with the community as resources for you. Using their connections, they will help you in finding housing information, transportation and daycare options, as well as, part time jobs options to have while attending school.
Veteran Services– Veterans Services equip veteran students with information on what educational benefits are offered to them. They accommodate veterans to help create a smooth transition from military life to civilian life.
Equipped with the proper knowledge of what each Student Services Department does, you now know which department to turn to for the proper guidance.
The holidays can be a challenging time for anyone. In an effort to help those who might need a little extra assistance, Centura College Chesapeake campus held a sensory friendly meet and greet with the one and only, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
We sat down with Campus Executive Director, Ashley West, to learn how the campus worked together to create a magical winter wonderland, for all those to enjoy:
What was the inspiration to hold a sensory-friendly event?
Ashley West: Anyone who knows me knows that there are three things in life that I get exceptionally excited about: My five year old son Andrew, who is autistic, my job, and CHRISTMAS! Personally knowing that the holiday season can be a real challenge for special needs families, we wanted to offer an event that allowed families of all different types to experience the magic of the holidays.
What steps did you take to prepare for the event?
AW: We began preparations and meetings in early October. Our committee was made up of volunteers. Anyone who was a part of it, was doing so on their own personal time. I truly appreciate the effort and dedication these wonderful people put in to make this a relaxed environment for special needs families. Countless hours went into decorating the wonderland, which included: three decked out Christmas trees, dozens and dozens of presents, inflatable characters and wrapping paper that covered every inch of the walls! We also spent a lot of time researching what kinds of activities and spaces would be most enjoyable to children on the autism spectrum and with other special needs. This resulted in us creating a quiet room; a room with low lighting, minimal sounds and a space to lay down or read a book. If any member of the family wanted to take a break from the hustle and bustle of our Santa’s Workshop, we made sure that they had that opportunity. In addition, each member of the committee attended a training session conducted by an autism support professional. We wanted to be sure that everyone was comfortable and prepared to best support these children and their families. From this training, we developed holiday activities, like sensory boxes (tubs with things like tinsel, slime and macaroni for the kids to feel textures) and cotton ball-snowman crafts. Obviously, we had to include Santa’s favorite cuisine, so there was plenty of milk and cookies for everyone to enjoy!
How did your staff react when learning about how to interact with children at the event?
AW: It was such a cool thing to watch the staff learn about some of the intricacies of working with special needs families. Many of them had not had any previous experience with the families, yet they all asked the exact questions that needed to be asked. I think lots of people try to promote awareness, but I’ve always said that awareness isn’t enough; what we’re really working toward is acceptance. The training we brought in helped the staff of Centura College Chesapeake campus to understand and accommodate the needs of every family that walked through our door. This made such a huge impact for our guests, moving us one step closer to our goal of acceptance.
Why is it important for Centura College to hold events like this for the community?
AW: We’re not just a tagline of “Connecting Communities and Careers.” We mean it! We want to serve all members of the community. As an autism mom, I can tell you that there’s a huge need for quality services and events for people who may need some additional considerations. We wanted to help be a part of the solution, so we’re also exploring program offerings to help train in a career supporting families with special needs. While special needs families are near and dear to my heart, I know that everyone has a specific cause that they cheer for. In 2018, we are hoping to highlight and showcase events that bring awareness, acceptance and actions of the causes we hold dear in our heart.
If you want to find out how you can help spread awareness and acceptance, or want to learn more about Centura College, Chesapeake campus, call 757.549.2121 or visit centuracollege.edu.
The Chesapeake campus of Centura College will be holding a sensory friendly holiday celebration on December 15th. Attendees will be able to take advantage of free photo opportunities with Santa, along with enjoying seasonal activities and refreshments, all in a sensory friendly environment.
By Brian Stauss
Centura College will be holding a special sensory friendly holiday celebration on Friday, December 15 at its Chesapeake campus located at 932 Ventures Way, Chesapeake, VA. Festivities begin at 1 p.m. and will continue until 6 p.m.
During this family-friendly event, attendees will be able to get free pictures taken with Santa. Santa will arrive at 2:30pm for photo opportunities. The campus will be providing milk and cookies, along with other holiday-themed snacks. Additionally, there will be sensory friendly activities available for children. Additional information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/529383557421968/.
“The holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year. My five year old son is on the autism spectrum, so I intimately understand the challenges that the holidays can bring to special needs families,” says Ashley West, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Chesapeake campus. “We wanted to host an event where every families in our community could have the opportunity to enjoy some holiday cheer in an environment that is both warm and inclusive.”
This event is free and open to the public. The campus will also be accepting reservations for personalized time with Santa, for families that believe their children would do better in a less crowded setting.
“We understand that some kids may appreciate a little more privacy with their Santa experience, so we are offering a limited number of appointments to meet those needs,” continues West. “We truly want to provide the best experience for everyone!”
For more information regarding Centura College’s sensory friendly holiday event and to schedule an appointment with Santa, contact the Chesapeake campus at (757) 549-2121.
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.