Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders Federal Center Employees Help Shape the Future

April 21, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. - We live in a very competitive world, finding and keeping a good job is a difficult task.

Teachers are facing the challenge of getting students ready for their future.

Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center employees working in partnership with Junior Achievement are helping teachers shape the future. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that educates young people how free enterprise, business and economics can improve the quality of their lives.

A recent project took place at Springfield Middle School in Springfield, Mich. Michelle D. Moore, Manager of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office volunteered to teach an eighth grade class with 17 students. “Part of the process is to get the students thinking about their future,” Moore said.

The course consists of six one-hour classes on topics like Personal Economics and The Economics of Staying in School. “During one class, The Cost of Living, we had the teenagers figure out how much it will cost to live on their own,” Moore explained.
The numbers gave some students new respect for their parents.

Members of the military assigned to the Federal Center also donated their time to help the Springfield students. Navy Lt. Karen Cooper and Army Chief Warrant Officer Shannon Calhoun shared their stories about what led them to join the armed forces. “There were a few important points I wanted to make,” Cooper explained. “Ask questions, don’t be afraid to ask; Eyes open, keep your eyes open and learn as much as you can. Parents should encourage their children to finish high school and go on to higher education.”

Calhoun learned something new from her involvement with the program. “I was very impressed with Junior Achievement,” Calhoun said. “I was able to show the kids how my civilian education assisted me in achieving my military career path.”

The Federal Center also participates in the Junior Achievement’s Operation GRAD (Gathering Resources for Adult Decisions). The program gives teens a second chance to get a high school diploma. It also offers a Job Shadow program that allows students to see what it is like in the workplace.
Leonette Finnie chose the Federal Center for her Job Shadow. She met with Rick Maison, the Defense Logistics Information Service executive director. He encouraged Finnie to consider a career in government. “There are many in our workforce who will retire in the next few years,” Maison said, “and we’re going to need bright, talented young people to replace them.” He also encouraged Finnie to continue her education, “don’t stop learning, the world is constantly changing.”

Finnie also spent time with Helen Therrien, record management officer for Defense Enterprise Support and Equal Employment Assistant Aisha Willis. Therrien has 17 years of government service. Willis started working in the EEO office right out of high school and has been there for eight years. They volunteered their time and gave Finnie a chance to see a small part of what goes on inside the Federal Center. “I really didn’t know anything about this place,“ Finnie said, “this has been an educational experience for me.”

Many Federal Center workers are providing service to their communities by volunteering their time and money to non-profit organizations. By working in partnership with groups like the Combined Federal Campaign and the United Way, Federal Center workers are helping those in need today and preparing tomorrow’s leaders.