By Amy Wallot
Mental illness led Stephanie Cesare to some very, very dark places. But these days, things are looking brighter for her. Now, she is a cosmetology graduate of the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center and is already employed.
Cesare gave the most candid speech I have heard at a commencement. She openly discussed her illness and the path her life had been on. She discussed how being at the center helped her reach a positive point in her life. She served as president of the Student Government Organization and was awarded the Citizenship Award. Her honesty brought many in the room to tears. It was truly inspiring.
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center assists individuals with disabilities become employable. They provide training in multiple areas, including food services, building maintenance, grounds keeping and office technology. Students can live on campus or commute. The program length depends on the area studied. Once students complete their program, they are invited to return to the center to participate in the annual commencement.
“I’m so proud of the work that is being done here,” said Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Thomas Zawacki.
“You have the skills to provide real value to your future employers,” he told the graduates.