Center News

Activities teach drug dangers

Red Ribbon Week is a national-wide fight against drugs. The community of Excelsior Springs has been working hard to prepare our next generation of students to say no to drug and alcohol abuse.

The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center kicked off its Red Ribbon Week with a balloon release, pictured above, in memory of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, and to show the students’ concern in the fight against drugs.

Red Ribbon Week began in 1998 in honor of Camarena’s memory.

Brenda Nutt, Job Corps Trainee Employee Assistant and Program Specialist, told the center’s students Camarena’s story. Camarena grew up in a dirt-floore house with dreams of making a difference. He worked his way through college, served in the Marines and became a police officer. When Camarena decided to join the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. He replied, “Mother, I can’t not do this. I’m only one person, but I want to make a difference.”

The DEA send Camarena to work undercover in Mexico investigating a major drug cartel believed to include officers in the Mexican army, police and government.

Three days before Camarena was set to come home, his cover was blown. On Feb. 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him in a car. One month later his body was found in a shallow grave. He had been tortured to death.

Camarena’s friends and neighbors began to wear red satin badges in his memory. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, began forming coalitions and used Camarena as their model.

Directly following the assembly, students stepped outside to release red balloons to show they were making a difference in the war on drugs.

Before the balloon release, Center Director Charles Singleteary spoke to the students about the importance of being drug free. “I urge everyone on this campus who is not drug free to become drug free. I wore the craziest socks I could find today to show my support. I hope that everyone else will, too,” stated Singleteary.

Students were asked by Singleteary to sign a red ribbon throughout the day. The ribbons will be presented to the Northland Community Center in downtown Excelsior Springs to show respect for those in treatment.Article and photo by Jeanette Ellerbeck, Excelsior Springs Standard, October 29, 2002
ESJCC donates to Operation Wild Life

Bob Hope, volunteer for Operation Wild Life, has been saving the lives of birds and telling his story for the last six years at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center.

“He comes here once a year and shows the students the different birds that he has rescued,” Donna Darling, science and math teacher at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center explained. “Operation Wild Life is a non-profit organization.”

Hope, like many volunteers at different organizations, relies solely on the donations of the public. The rescue operation has no regular source of income.

While visiting the center, Hope was given a check for $300 on behalf of the students and faculty of Job Corps.
Operation Wild Life requires at least $100 a day to feed the birds they have saved.

Article and photo by Jeanette Ellerbeck, Excelsior Springs Standard, October 22, 2002

Job Corps Blood Drive exceeds goal

Blood is needed every day, around the clock in every community. Students and faculty of the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center gathered two weeks ago to give blood and help give someone another chance.

Collecting, testing and distributing blood is something the Red Cross has done for the last 50 years. Four to five times a year the Red Cross comes to the Job Corps Center in our community to help us do our part in saving lives.

Caroline Pauley, health and wellness coordinator, explained that the students are very competitive when it comes down to donating blood. “We hoped to top or record from the last blood drive, and we did. Students also compete in each dorm for a traveling trophy.” The traveling trophy will be awarded to the dormitory with the most students who donated.

To donate blood there are a couple of simple guidelines that one must follow: you must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. For every one person who can donate, three people’s lives can be saved. Each component of blood is separated and used for specialized medical treatment.

The Job Corps Center surpassed their goal of 80 productive donors. This time the local blood drive collected 110 units of blood. “We almost doubled what we thought we would collect,” stated Pauley.

Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center will hold another blood drive on November 22, which will also be coordinated by the health and wellness center. “We are responsible for setting up the donors, volunteers and food,” explained Pauley.

The students and teachers from the department also set up a team of student recruiters who help bring in as many students as possible to work toward the common goal. “Everyone on campus would like to see us collect more blood during each drive,” stated Pauley.

Article by Jeanette Ellerbeck, Excelsior Springs Standard,October 8, 2002

JNROTC takes part in annual inspection

The NJROTC unit at the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center, the first such unit in the United States.

The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center held a personal inspection for students of the Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC). Chief Beffa state, “The students are very nervous, they know that the Marine Corps pays attention to detail.” Chief Beffa called Gunnery Sgt. Welk and Gunnery Sgt. Barham from the Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Gladstone, Mo., to do the inspection.

There are 46 cadets in the NJROTC program, 25 women and 21 men. All students gathered in attention while the Marine Corps inspected every last detail of their uniforms.

Included in the examination: the length of their pant legs, the crease in their hat, the distance from their nametag to their pocket (1/4 of an inch), and many other important details of their uniform.

There are 119 Job Corps centers in the U.S. and only two hold the NJROTC program. The Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center was the first to start the program and according to Chief Beffa the program has been very successful so far. Of the students who participate in the NJROTC program, a portion of them will go on to enlist in the Armed Services, with the opportunity to begin at a higher rank.

Article and photo by Jeanette Ellerbeck, Excelsior Springs Standard, June 11, 2002

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