Thanksgiving at the Oneonta Job Corps Academy
Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, but not everyone gets to go home. This is true of about one third of the students at the Oneonta Job Corps Academy. But though they may be far from home, they still managed to celebrate a cheerful, albeit snowy, Thanksgiving.
Lead cook, Jamie Snyder, and his team cooked up a fine meal, complete with roast turkey, while Center Director, Chris Kuhn (proudly wearing his Turkey Trot shirt), was on hand to serve up the mashed potatoes and gravy, ably assisted by Kylee Wormuth.
We asked some students what it was like being away from their families at Thanksgiving:
Asha Mitchell is from Ocean County, New Jersey. She is studying to be a certified nursing assistant. She said:
“It’s difficult. I miss my family. But I’m looking forward to going home when I get my high school diploma.”
Randell Moses of the U.S. Virgin Islands is studying to be an electrician. He said:
Thanksgiving in the Virgin islands is the best, being home with my family in the warm weather. But I’m getting used to it now.”
Kayla-Marie Cyphers of Atlantic City, New Jersey is a brand new student and has not yet decided which trade to pursue.
“This is my first Thanksgiving away from home. It’s a little sad, but I’m having a good time and meeting lots of new people.”
We asked some other students what they’re thankful for this Thanksgiving:
Jeremy Holston is from Brooklyn, New York, and is studying to be an electrician.
“I am thankful for my good health, for my family, and that I’ll be graduating soon.”
Nicole Mack of Elmira, New York, is studying to be a certified medical assistant.
“I am thankful for my friends and my accomplishments, and for the family I have on my side.”
The Three Amigos are Nolan Tolbert of New Orleans, Louisiana, Isadora Hernandez of Tucson, Arizona, and Abrien Coleman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They are all undergoing advanced training in underground residential distribution.
“We are thankful for the best class ever! The teaching is wonderful and Mr Blair is a great instructor.”
Darren Cargill is from Central Islip, Long Island. He is studying to be an electrician. (Remember his name - he also has political aspirations.)
“I am thankful for Job Corps, for the good meals, and for the help getting my driver’s license.”
Tyrelle McCloud of Glassboro, New Jersey is studying to be an electrician. Renesha Langlaise is from Brooklyn, New York, and is working on becoming a certified nursing assistant.
Tyrelle is thankful for “Music. And another year.”
Renesha summed up what she is thankful for with one simple and perfect word: “Life.”
Tajh Cooper of Rochester, New York, is studying facility maintenance.
“I am thankful for life itself, and for the opportunity to come to Job Corps and get my high school diploma.”
Damien and Angel Cruz are from Trenton, New Jersey. Graduates of the tile setting program, they are currently both working on gaining their high school diplomas.
“We are thankful for our family and friends, our education, and the Job Corps staff.”
So there you have it. Although it’s hard to be parted from family at Thanksgiving, you don’t need to be with them to feel and enjoy the spirit of the season. We wish the students of Oneonta Job Corps Academy the very best as they pursue their education and careers.