PRESTONSBURG — Amber Jones, a 20-year-old student from Miami, Fla., enrolled in the Carl D. Perkins Job Corps program Oct. 24 to embark on a new chapter in her life.
Jones says the reason she came to Job Corps was to get a good education and job-training skills that would make her be able to support herself and able to get away from many obstacles and struggles she had been dealing with at home. Jones completed Hotel Lodging at the center and had opportunities to work several banquets in the community as part of the center’s work-based learning program. This enabled her to gain valuable on-the-job experience and she is now enrolled in her second training course, Culinary Arts.
But Jones goes on to say that coming to Job Corps was the best decision that she had ever made, because she ended up learning so much from everyone in the program and has made so many changes that will last her a lifetime. Jones not only acquired certifications in Hotel Lodging and soon Culinary Arts, but also improved her physical and mental well being.
While at Job Corps, Jones developed an attitude that she could do anything she wanted to do in life and was always motivated to do so because the staff were always encouraging her along the way.
Jones came into the program weighing 225 lbs. and says that was just another issue that she had always struggled with in life. She began utilizing the center’s weight room and gym facilities each evening and learning more about nutrition from the Wellness staff. Now, she has lost a total of 65 lbs. since being in the program and she is continuing to work toward her target weight.
Jones says she is not only a healthier person, but she is more self-confident and has a sense of pride in herself that she has never had before. When she was asked what advice she could give to other young people, she said, “Don’t walk around mad and angry at the world each day. That attitude will waste so much time and energy. Always keep a positive attitude and believe in yourself and you can achieve anything.”
Jones plans to continue her training in hospitality before returning to Florida. She sums up her experience in Prestonsburg by saying, “Job Corps changes your life completely.”