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Chamber members donate $943 to student programs
by Chamber News on April 30th, 2012

Every school day 7,000 students drop out nationwide; that’s one student every 26 seconds. The Chamber is addressing this crisis locally by delivering CHOICES, an interactive, decision-making workshop that empowers teens to achieve academic success in pursuit of their career and life aspirations.

Since 2000, more than 8,500 students in our community have experienced the Chamber’s CHOICES program. This year the Chamber has already reached 505 students, with a goal of reaching 800 by the end of 2012.

Funding for CHOICES is made possible by donations to the Chamber’s Workforce Education Support Team (W.E.S.T.), a 501(C) 3 corporation.  This year Chamber members have contributed $943 to W.E.S.T. through a new initiative that allows members to make a $1 per month tax deductible donation as they pay their membership dues.

CHOICES utilizes volunteers from the local community to deliver a 90-minute message to 8th graders. Presenters take students through real-world exercises on academic self-discipline, time and money management, and goal setting.  Impacts of educational achievement are stressed, letting students experience real cost of living situations and exposing them to sobering information about the educational skills required for various occupations in today’s workplace.

The Chamber encourages local business and community leaders who are comfortable with public speaking, passionate about the success of youth and willing to donate four hours of time to become a CHOICES presenter.

For more information on donating to W.E.S.T or becoming a CHOICES presenter, please contact Keyara Hamilton at 229-247-8100, or khamilton@valdostachamber.com


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