Three north country residents received $500 each to allow them to complete adult education courses that allowed them to find employment.
For the second year, the Wladis Law Firm and Strategic Development Specialists gave the United Way of NNY $1,500 to use for the scholarships. The United Way then worked with Community Action Planning Council, the St. Lawrence Community Development Program and Lewis County Opportunities to award grants to the following people:
Jefferson County: Chad Broege, a U.S. Army veteran, who received his Electrical III certification from BOCES. The Jefferson-Lewis Workplace covered a portion of Broege's tuition, and Community Action Planning Council provided case management and support services. The United Way grant allowed him to complete his education to become an electrical engineer.
Lewis County: Todd Phelan had to stop being a welder due to lung damage. He has since received financial support from Lewis County Employment & Training to attend school to become a truck driver. The United Way grant allowed him to complete his training. Upon graduation, Phelan had three employment opportunities available to him.
St. Lawrence County: Jennifer Austin, whose son Michael is in the home-based Head Start program in Massena. She is enrolled as an online student at Ashworth University. In 2006, she received a certificate in Medical Transcription through Ashworth University, and now is studying Medical Billing and Coding. “My goal is to become certified in 12-18 months,” she said. “After that, I am hoping to start work either in a doctor's office or hospital. I feel this is a wonderful way to help my family achieve personal and financial success.”
Jennifer Austin with her son, Michael, in Massena.