51 Iroquois Job Corps students receive diplomas at commencement

Provided photos – (Left) Student Government president Joshua Espinal stands with fellow graduates during Iroquois Job Corps’ recent graduation ceremony. (Right) Austin Noworyta shows off his cap he decorated for graduation from the Iroquois Job Corps Center.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 August 2023 at 8:28 am

MEDINA – Iroquois Job Corps Center celebrated its 2023 graduates with a ceremony Aug. 18.

The theme this year was “Dream Big.” This is the first graduation ceremony since 2019, before Covid restrictions, and all graduates since then were invited to this ceremony.

Fifty-one graduates walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, many to the joy of proud parents.

Certified nursing assistant graduates and clinical medical assistants also received graduation pins.

Andrew Dugan, representing Senator Robert Ortt, congratulated the class and presented them with a certificate from the Senator’s office.

Iroquois Job Corps Center director Dennis Essom presents a diploma to Keionte McIntyre during graduation ceremonies Aug. 18.

In all, more than 100 guests, including family members, attended the ceremony, according to John Thomas, Operations Director at Job Corps.

Guest speaker was Hank Warfield, a youth advocate, mentor and coach who has spent the last two decades dedicated to serving the young people of the Greater Rochester area. He brings a positive influence and deep understanding which has earned him the respect of those he serves. He is a recognizable fixture in the movement for positive change as he interacts with a community of people often overlooked and discounted.

He has served as a member of the Bishop Kearney High School Girls’ Basketball staff, earning countless sectional titles and two state titles, all the while providing groundbreaking work as a youth counselor, case manager, youth intervention and gang specialist and parent engagement coordinator. He currently works within the Rochester City School District as a crisis intervention specialist.

Graduates celebrate by throwing their caps in the air after graduation ceremonies at Iroquois Job Corps Center.

The student address was given by Student Government vice president David Murphy. His address focused on a quote from Ed Helms: “Don’t be afraid of fear. Because it sharpens you, it challenges you, it makes you stronger; and when you run away from fear, you also run away from the opportunity to be our best possible self.”

Murphy continued by saying, “Be proud that you said yes to this life changing opportunity and now have the skills you need to go back home and make a real difference in your life.”

Jannesia Maybell marches with fellow students into the auditorium for graduation ceremonies at Iroquois Job Corps.