See How One Job Corps Student Adjusted to the Pandemic and is Flourishing
Twenty-two-year-old Pacific Islander and electrical student Tioata Faamata is one of 28 Sierra Nevada Job Corps students who chose in March 2020 to remain on center during the pandemic. These students had no place to go but didn’t want to abandon their career and life goals. So, Job Corps asked them to stay. Tioata and the others have been living at the center ever since.
“Unfortunately, I was one of the ones who didn’t have a home,” she explained. “I’m not feeling sorry for myself. We’re safe here and well taken care of, but I came here to get an education, get a career, so that I can own my own home someday. Completing Job Corps will make that possible in the long run.”
Not long after the pandemic began, Job Corps began providing education and technical training through a distance-learning program. Tioata says distance learning came at the right time.
“Everyone, all the staff, have been so nice to me and the others, but we were all getting bored after a while, kind of stir-crazy because we had to stay inside the center. Then, they started distance learning. It’s been a blessing for me. I’m enrolled in Google classroom’s Test of Adult Basic Education math and electrical vocation. I’ve been working very hard on the lessons. That’s one of the great things about it. I want to move forward quicker and distance learning lets you do that. All the information is available to you and you just use it.”
Staff members and Tioata’s instructors all think very highly of “Ata”, as she is called. Deputy Center Director Sheilah Hernandez is one of them.
“I’ve gotten to know Ata since the break began. I think she’s fantastic. She’s super smart and an example to the rest. She’s going places.”
Instructor Kymberly Laine agrees. “Ata is special. Her attitude is special…Whatever she does, and wherever she goes, Tioata will be a credit to Job Corps and the state of Nevada.”