Learning to Lead at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Center

“This is our nursing class,” begins one of the Earle C. Clements Job Corps instructors, “and I’ve got some students who are going to show you some different stuff that we work with.”

Second through fifth graders from nearby Sturgis Elementary in Morganfield, Kentucky spent a day with students at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Center. They learned what it takes to become a professional in a variety of careers.

“We’re going to let you guys listen on the stethoscopes,” continued a certified nursing instructor. “We have some fun little germs set up back here. I’ll let a couple of you come and wash your hands to see if you can get the germs off your hands.”

Jordan Stevens, who’s in the computer service technician program, loved teaching the kids about computer technology.

“It was an amazing experience,” he says.

Jordan’s goal is to someday own his own computer repair shop. He says he was inspired to see the young people’s interest in his career.

“When I look at them, how happy, how interested they were in technology, it reminded me of when I was a child.”

The partnership between Earle C. Clements Job Corps and Sturgis Elementary which is part of Union Public Schools goes way back, and this event is part of a boarder goal to develop and improve leadership skills in all students. The initiative is based on Stephen R. Covey’s The Leader in Me program.

“Our kids,” says Sturgis Principal Michelle Hall, “loved this experience. It was very positive. It allowed our students to share what they know about leadership as well as encouraging them to set goals.”

Deputy Director of Earle C. Clements Job Corps Amanda Curry says these types of events prepares Job Corps students to succeed in the future jobs.

“To push those leadership skills in an effort to assist them outside when they’re looking for jobs, when they’re working at jobs and moving forward after their career at Earle C. Clements.”

Advanced welding student Gregory Sullivan says answering all of the questions from the elementary kids prepared him in a lot of ways.

“It gave me a great deal of joy to see them and tell them everything that welding is and how it helps me and made me a better person. It kind of helped me get a little bit more prepared to answer the questions in the future.”

Principal Hall says her elementary students are bright kids that Job Corps students can learn a thing or two from.

“One of the Job Corps students said they never thought they could learn something from someone younger than them. And I think that truly empowers our students even at the elementary level, as we all know that we can learn from anyone regardless of whether they’re younger than us or older than us.”