Chattanooga Ambassadors Program To Sign 25 Students Saturday

Thursday, February 20, 2014
Mayor Andy Berke with the CAP boys.
Mayor Andy Berke with the CAP boys.

The city of Chattanooga’s Department of Youth & Family Development will launch the second phase of their Chattanooga Ambassadors Program Saturday with a “signing day” for 25 more students. These students, all young ladies, will join the 25 young men who launched the 48-week program in October. 

The ceremony will be at the UTC University Center from 1-3 p.m.

“Signing Day represents students receiving a scholarship of opportunity,” says Lurone “Coach” Jennings, administrator for the city of Chattanooga’s Department of Youth & Family Development.  “In just a few months, our young men in the CAP program have become stronger, more dependable leaders. These 25 young ladies will be provided every opportunity for the same growth and success.” 

Twenty-five young ladies, ages 16-18, who were pre-selected by area high schools, non-profit organizations, and YFD staff, will officially “sign” a letter of intention for the CAP Program on Saturday. The community will get a first look at each young lady selected to receive special training and support. 

Mayor Berke provided funding for an expansion of teen education and leadership programs in the FY2014 city budget. The Berke Administration is committed to growing young leaders, smarter students and stronger families in Chattanooga, said officials. The city’s CAP program exemplifies the mayor’s vision and has seen personal growth from its first “signees.” 

“The city now has several young men that they can count on,” says Gary Rudolph, CAP director. “We have seen the continued growth in our boys, and we are proud to extend this opportunity to 25 girls and looking forward to experiencing similar results.” 

In the first few months, CAP participants have gained employment, volunteered in the community, received tutoring and literacy training, and participated in educational tours. This past Monday, CAP participants participated in a tour and met with officials at the Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant. 

The CAP program will provide the same level of commitment to the 25 young ladies, providing them with the tools to become self sufficient, decreasing their family’s dependency on cash assistance and improving their quality of life. The CAP program provides a strong relationship with local partners, businesses, and communities, giving opportunities and resources for success to CAP participants and their families. 

Each young lady will receive mentors, tutoring, educational and life enrichments, career coaches, leadership training, volunteer projects and will be connected to post secondary opportunities prior to graduation, falling in line with the department's five areas of focus; Education, Leadership, Career Development, Recreation, and Social Services. 

Outcomes are measured in four different areas: academic performance, leadership, career readiness, and community engagement. Multiple incentives will be given upon successful completion of activities, including earning a weekly stipend while working in their community. Parents of each CAP participant are eligible to receive career development training and volunteer opportunities, while supporting their child in the 48 week program. 



UT Professor Develops App For Patients Who Can't Speak

Patients who are unable to communicate with their health care providers are now able to better verbalize their needs, thanks to a new app developed by Rebecca Koszalinski, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Speak for Myself allows intubated and voiceless patients to communicate pain, fear, anxiety, loneliness and toileting requests ... (click for more)

AT&T Donates $5,000 To CSCC

AT&T announced a $5,000 contribution to the Cleveland State Community College to support non-traditional, underserved students preparing for high-skill jobs requiring technology-based skills in Tennessee community colleges.  The donation will fund scholarships to help students begin a path toward completing their college degrees. The contribution was presented on Tuesday ... (click for more)

County GOP Chairman Says Mayor Berke Should Immediately Resign For Admittedly Using Encrypted Messaging With Top Staff

Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke "should immediately resign after admitting that he and his senior staff employ an encrypted message application that neither records or stores messages sent and received for the purpose of official city of Chattanooga business on a government-owned server." He said he was guilty of "deliberates ... (click for more)

Corker Says Without Budget Reform, Washington Is “Laying A Huge Burden On Future Generations”

In remarks on the Senate floor  on Wednesday , Senator Bob Corker joined a number of colleagues to discuss the broken federal budget process.   “The processes that we have in place make it impossible for us to really deal with our country’s fiscal issues,” said Senator Corker. “Today is the perfect example of that: we pass a continuing resolution ... (click for more)

Outrageous To Give Vehicles To Nation Of Islam Neighborhood Patrol - And Response

Chief of Police Fred Fletcher of the Chattanooga Police Department has recently decided to give two surplus patrol vehicles to the Nation of Islam Neighborhood Patrol. This is an insult to the life and memory of PO Philip Cardillo who lost his life in April 1972 at the hand of the members of the Nation of Islam Mosque No.7 in Harlem and his fellow officers who were savagely beaten ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Knobfather & Me

I’ve seen some beautiful things in my life. I’ve eaten dinner inside the Eiffel Tower with the city of Paris all aglitter below. I’ve been sprayed by champagne in the Dallas Cowboys’ dressing room after they won the Super Bowl. I’ve stood both at the top and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’ve snorkeled in the Great Exuma islands, learned to snow ski in the Austrian Alps, and ... (click for more)