Ridgemont students awarded scholarships to prepare for workforce

Photo Credit:  Kenton Times

Photo Credit: Kenton Times

Fifty Ridgemont High School students are on their way to becoming empowered leaders.  Each were awarded the “Rising Stars Initiative” scholarship.

Ridgemont High became the first school in the nation to receive this initiative.  The school district partnered with The Ohio State University’s  Alber Enterprise Center, Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance and Performance Support Systems (PSS), as a collaborative effort to introduce the Future Farmers of America (FFA) students to this program.  The program will aid students to learn people skills and their personal strengths in high school and beyond graduation.

FFA students will partake in a year-long, online personal development program, called “Strong For Life.”  “Strong for Life” for ProStar Coach is a virtual program that can be accessed 24/7 at the student’s disposal to ingrain pertinent leadership qualities for the workforce.

Various classes such as Listening, Giving Constructive Feedback, Engaging in Dialogue, Resolving Conflict, Composure, Cooperation, Self-confidence, Responsibility, and many more are accessible for students to take.

According to a 2006 joint study, “Are They Really Ready to Work,” employers complained that young adults were “woefully-ill prepared” for the demands of the workplace, had poor communication and critical thinking skills.  PSS launched this initiative to address this “growing awareness” on young adults not being adequately prepared for any challenges they may face in the workforce.

Stephanie Jolliff, Ridgemont FFA  Advisor stated “It gives our kids the opportunity to connect with the real world.”

On January 5, 2015, Ridgemont received this non-monetary scholarship.  Normally, a one year individual subscription is $325 but with PSS working with participating schools and youth programs, it’s now free and accessible for teens.

By obtaining these qualifications earlier on and before embarking on their career paths, students will be better equipped with the necessary tools to succeed in the workforce and in life.  Frank Gibson, Program Manager of Alber Enterprise Center said “This is a rare and unique opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills [through coaching focused] on you, your career, your growth, and your future.  We challenge each student to not only receive coaching but to learn how they can use coaching skills to assist others.”

Each student will have assigned “Accountability Coaches” and “Support Coaches” that will guide them throughout the coaching process.

Bailey Drumm, Ridgemont High senior, expressed “This will better prepare us for jobs in the community.  I am confident in my leadership abilities, but I am also excited to see where this leads me.  I am hoping it makes me even better.”

“This can be a life-learning program.  The effect it has on students could affect other people in their lives,” claimed John Hohn, Director of Economic Development at Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance.  “The long-term impact could be amazing.”

For more information about Strong For Life, visit:  strongforlifeteens.com or contact Frank Gibson at 740-725-6348.

(Special Note:  Article information and quotes pulled from the Kenton Times article, “Program goal to better prepare R’mont students for work force” by Dan Robinson, Staff Writer and Performance Support Systems’ Press Release)

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