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Hi! I am Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, National Director of Job Corps. Thank you for visiting us here in this space. It means you’re looking for something better, and you’re exploring your options. If I can tell you one thing about Job Corps, it’s this: The program gives you options. If you can bring the work ethic, desire and commitment, we will show you a path forward. Our logo has a ladder for a reason. This is the way up.

I have faith in this program, and I have faith in you. Why? Because I’ve been there. At your age, it would have been very easy for me to have gone in a different direction, if not for the people who believed in me and the people who came into my life that made me believe in myself. That’s what I am offering to you … a place where people believe in you and your aspirations.
Thank you for your interest in Job Corps. I look forward to connecting
with you.

Questions or comments? You may send me an email directly at:

Y2Y Week 2018

In 2015, Job Corps students came forward with the idea to encourage positive interactions among Job Corps students and enhance the center environment. That idea became Job Corps’ Youth 2 Youth: Partners 4 Peace (Y2Y) initiative, and it continues to spread a message of peace and nonviolence nationwide.

Y2Y is a student-led campaign that allows our students to create events and projects that highlight the importance of peace, conflict resolution, teamwork, community engagement, leadership, and issues such as bullying and youth violence.

The theme for this year’s Y2Y Week was “Students Standing Together.” All centers were encouraged to partner with an area high school to promote peace in their communities. The partnership of Job Corps with local educational institutions not only allowed Job Corps students to spread Y2Y’s positive message, but also encouraged communities to come together around those ideals.

The Y2Y program at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center, located near Kansas City, Mo., celebrated Y2Y Week and the International Day of Peace with their community by attempting to set a Guinness World Record for the largest human-made peace and love sign. The symbols were created by nearly 800 participants, and a photo was captured to commemorate the event. Once the world record attempt was finished, students were treated to a concert featuring contemporary artists Jett Blakk, UB Star and Silentó.

Everyone from government officials and law enforcement to local schools and Job Corps students were committed to celebrating and promoting peace. I witnessed a community coming together around its young people to accomplish a common, peaceful, and inspirational goal. That is, at its core, what the Y2Y program is all about.

With each Y2Y Week, I am amazed by the wonderful feats our students accomplish across the nation. They continue to inspire not only me but also their communities to work together to create a more peaceful future. Please join me in congratulating them for their efforts and encouraging them to continue spreading the Y2Y message of positivity and peace.

Around the Country: Celebrating College Pathways students in Mississippi

Today, I congratulate Mississippi Job Corps graduates who are now enrolled in college thanks to the College Pathways program.

Job Corps and the Tom Joyner Foundation partnered to create College Pathways to help students from low-income families bridge the gap to college. Through the program, piloted at the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas, and the Mississippi Job Corps Center in Crystal Springs, Miss., participating Job Corps students receive intensive college preparation, mentorship, and 1 year of tuition-free education at partnering colleges and universities.

At this College Pathways celebration, I met the nine students from the Mississippi Job Corps who are now students at Tougaloo College and the Utica Campus of Hinds Community College, where they are excelling by joining honor societies, earning additional scholarships and interning in their fields of study. I also met eleven of their peers who will join them at Tougaloo and Hinds-Utica in the fall.

I am so proud of the hard work and determination these Job Corps students have put forth in achieving their goals of training at Job Corps and going to college to further their educations. I want to encourage all students to remember that the sky is the limit if we remain persistent in our efforts to work hard and achieve more.
Congratulations again to our College Pathways students!

Around the Country: Read Across America Day

On March 2, 2018, Job Corps centers across the country participated in Read Across America Day, the National Education Association’s annual day celebrating youth literacy. Job Corps students visited local schools and read books to elementary students. I am so proud of our students serving as “reading role models” to children in their communities.

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a Day of Service

For this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, I had the opportunity to participate alongside students from the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center in Memphis, Tenn. We visited the National Civil Rights Museum, where the students volunteered their time to collect canned goods from visitors for a local food drive and to support the museum on its busiest day of the year.

Students coordinated Day of Service events nationwide. Visit the Facebook albums to see more photos of our students making a difference in their communities.