Job Corps students graduate from Cherokee High School

by Jun 28, 2018COMMUNITY sgadugi

GRAD: Simone Blake (center), shown with Craig Barker (left), Cherokee High School assistant principal) and Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal, is one of the first two students to graduate from the school under a recent co-enrollment agreement with the Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center. (Photo courtesy of USDA Forest Service/Job Corps)


The Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (OJCCCC) and Cherokee High School have an agreement for students whom live on campus at the Center to attend Cherokee High School during the school day to finish credits so they can receive their high school diploma.

Simone Blake and Rickey Evans III are the first two students to successfully earn their high school diploma from Cherokee High School under this new program.

“I am extremely proud of Rickey and Simone for achieving their short-term goal of earning a high school diploma, for their hard work and determination, and for being the first co-enrolled students from the Job Corps to graduate from Cherokee High School,” said Dr. Debora Foerst, CHS principal.  “They have certainly paved the way for students in the future.  I want to encourage them to continue working hard and exhibiting that same level of determination in the future.”

Blake entered into the Job Corps program on Aug. 22, 2017.  Both of her parents were in Job Corps and encouraged her to join.  She has currently been working at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort and volunteered at the Dora Reed Center while enrolled at CHS. “It hasn’t really hit me yet, that I’ve graduated. I struggled a lot through my senior year, but I know that you have more opportunities in life when you have your high school diploma.”

Evans III is a wildland firefighter and has been providing emergency services to a fire in Texas.

Jim Copeland, OJCCCC director, noted, “We are really excited about these students’ accomplishments, and we truly value the support they have received from Cherokee Schools.  The staff and students at Cherokee really have made a positive impact in these young people’s lives.  The best is yet to come as they utilize their education and skills in the workforce.”

The USDA Forest Service operates 25 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers across 16 states with a capacity to serve over 4,000 students.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Info:

– USDA Forest Service