By Kelvin Lee, Student Services Coordinator, Centura College Richmond
A quiet, shy, and very soft-spoken individual, Ms. Danielle Young enrolled in the Dental Assistant program at the North Chesterfield campus in March 2017. As a child, Danielle set her sights on pursuing a career in the dental field. Her grandfather was a practicing dentist for many years, so she wanted nothing less than to live up to his legacy.
While enrolled in the program, Danielle flourished. With a firm grasp on the curriculum and the hands-on training, she applied her knowledge in both the classrooms and in the labs. Danielle was on the North Chesterfield campus’s Director’s List for academic achievement and was nominated (and chosen) for the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society, all while maintaining a 3.92 grade point average.
Before our annual commencement ceremony in June, we held auditions to determine which students would serve as speakers at the ceremony. Students were encouraged to write a motivating and uplifting speech about their success at Centura College. I was quite surprised and excited when I realized that Danielle might be one of our speakers. This modest graduate would later deliver a soul-stirring speech about humility, encouragement, and what hard work can accomplish.
Incidentally, Danielle was a referral from one of our medical assistant students who later went on to graduate and is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. There is an old saying by an unknown author that suggests that if you believe in yourself, others will follow.
I’m proud to say that Danielle has been accepted into the School of Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she plans to continue her education. She decided not to include this great news in her graduation speech, and while I was on stage, I wondered why she left it out. It just goes to show the type of person that Danielle is. As a student and as a graduate of the Dental Assistant program, she wanted to highlight the support that she received from the administrators and the advisers that she met while at Centura College rather than her own achievements.
Congratulations Ms. Young. We all wish you the best of luck in your future pursuits!
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.
Written by Drew Schnaath, Jul DeGeus and Esperanza Poquiz
Faculty and staff from The Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Centura College, and Tidewater Tech met with colleagues and industry specialists to enrich themselves, their campuses, and become better community leaders and more effective educators. On March 14th, leadership and instructors converged in Falls Church, VA to attend the annual Education Conference.
Left to right: Vice President Joel English, Damon Cook, Vice President Mike Busjahn and Nate Wade.
“This year’s theme centered around the intersection of education and community, how our schools work together with their respective communities,” said Dr. Mary Urbanski. “We believe in cultivating our school families, the greater communities surrounding our schools, and our faculty.” These relationships foster collaboration, integrity, and innovation, which benefits students, employers and the communities involved:
Centura Columbia hosted a three part Rock that Interview series of events, leading up to their Career Fair. The sessions educated those who attended on the following subjects: Writing your cover letter, creating your resume, collecting references and building your portfolio.
AIM Atlanta, AIM Chesapeake and AIM Manassas ‘drifted’ from aviation maintenance to automotive, as each campus hosted a Car Show & Open House. Automotive enthusiast learned a thing or two touring the hangars, while Aviation Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) admired the maintenance and upgrades of the vehicles that cruised onto the campus.
In September, members of the Hampton Roads campus branches partook in the organization and volunteering of the Safe House Half Marathon and 5k. 100% of the proceeds of this race went towards building a “safe house”- a haven for orphans that are at risk of being sold into sex slavery.
Centura Norfolk partnered with the City of Norfolk’s Fire-Rescue Department to develop an academic preparation training program for new recruits of the Fire-Rescue Academy. This free of charge program aims to help refresh the basic knowledge a participant will need to be successful in the Fire-Rescue Academy, as well as provides additional tutoring to ensure each recruit has the tools they need to succeed.
Tidewater Tech connected with the community’s strong military presence by holding a car wash and yard sale to benefit the crew members of the USS Eisenhower. Chief Petty Officer selectees from the vessel worked alongside Tidewater Teach staff members to make sure that every car that came for a wash was in ship shape!
For Christmas, AIM Indianapolis decked the halls with charity organizations, Bearded Villains and Bad Apple Offroad, to collect gifts for Toys for Tots. The holiday event gave families the chance to come to the campus and enjoy food, music and fun, while raising donations for a great cause!
Conference attendees heard from several well-known speakers, including Dr. Michael E. Wooten from the Department of Education, Cindy Bridges Milford, Enterprise Digital Specialist at Cengage and Dale Dworak, a 25-year industry veteran in business technology solutions. Campus educators were also able to learn from text book publishers such as Cengage, McGraw Hill Education, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Pearson and F.A. Davis Company. Each speaker offered valuable insight into their experiences in education, business, leadership, management, and even the technology that powers these institutions and ideas.
In addition to the veritable wealth of information, our faculty had the chance to meet and network with colleagues from our other brands and campuses. Jon Cason explained “Our goal is to foster community, both inside and outside our organization. Collaboration is important for our schools as they continue to grow.”
Centura College will be holding a career fair for its students, graduates, and individuals in the community who are seeking employment.
By Brian Stauss
Centura College will be holding a career fair on Saturday, April 21 at its campus located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike, North Chesterfield, VA 23235. The fair begins at 10 a.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.
The event will feature companies from a variety of industries. Employers attending will lend guidance regarding the application process for their companies, and may even hold on-site interviews for qualified applicants. Guests are expected to attend the career fair professionally dressed, with copies of their resumes and prepared to network. A list of participating employers can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/587435664966929.
“Centura College strives to connect communities and careers, so we are encouraging both our students, and the public to attend,” says Steve Worrell, Campus Executive Director at Centura College’s Richmond campus. “We will have many employers on-site, hiring for a variety of entry-level positions.”
Career fair attendees are also invited to take a tour of the campus’s training facilities and to meet with admissions staff to discuss the benefits of career-focused training and the various program options available at Centura College.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information regarding Centura College’s career fair, contact the Richmond campus at (804) 330-0111.
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 skilled 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.
By Max Murphy
Everyone knows that attending college comes with the expectation of putting in a lot of hard work and dedication. Here are seven habits you can apply to your school life to help make the journey through college a little bit easier:
- Organize with Color
- Create a Study Area
- Find a Study Group
- Prepare yourself for Test / Lab days
- Communicate with your Teacher
- Have a Positive Mindset
“PREsearch”- Research Subjects before You Learn Them in Class
Most instructors hand out a course syllabus or outline at the beginning of the grading period. Instead of tossing it into your notebook and never giving it a second thought, try highlighting some of the course material you are not familiar with and do some pre-research for yourself. Give yourself some extra homework or reading material to make learning easier. If you don’t know any of the terms being used, look up some videos on the subject!
Organize with Color
Create a color coding system for all of your classes to keep your assignments and thoughts easy to manage. Mark text books or reading material in different colors for parts you don’t understand, need to memorize or maybe just material you find interesting. Every hue of the rainbow is at your expense, so go color crazy to keep organized.
Create a Study Area
When preparing for school, find a quiet ‘study space’ that you can go to. Some great places are at home, in a library or coffee shop, a quiet park bench, or even your car. It can be hard to find somewhere quiet where we can slow down for a minute with all of our responsibilities in life, but for school work, it is a must. Pro tip: Make sure the area is well-lit so you can take notes and read any course material
Find a Study Group
Working in groups can help fellow students share information and notes while studying course material. If you’re not understanding something, there might be someone in your group who does and can explain it to you. If there isn’t a study group already available at your Centura campus, then maybe you could create one.
Prepare for Test Days
Have you ever shown-up for an important test only for the room to be freezing cold? It’s pretty distracting and you don’t want it to affect your test taking skills after you’ve invested so much time studying the curriculum. Don’t forget to think about the “little things” that might have a big impact: Are you in a classroom or lab? Did you get enough sleep the night before? Do you have a nutritious meal planned? Don’t let the little surprises throw off your A-game.
Communicate with your Teacher
If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask questions about it, especially if it makes you understand the course material better! And, a lot of times one person asks a question that the entire class is wondering. If you are uncomfortable asking questions in front of people, wait until class ends and ask the teacher afterwards. Teachers are there to help you succeed, and if you show them you’re really trying, they’ll work with you to get you the information you need
Have a Positive Mindset
Be positive about your situation, create goals of where you want to be, and aim to achieve them. It can be hard to take on life and school at one time, but if you think about how you can conquer it in small bits and pieces, juggling school with all of our other responsibilities becomes a whole lot easier. By breaking down school into a series of small goals, it can make things a lot less overwhelming. Do what it takes to inspire yourself to succeed, because you’re working hard for a career.
What are some habits you practice to make your school life easier? Leave a comment below.
For more information on the programs Centura College offers, please click here.