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. 



Commissioner McQueen Announces Special Task Force On Student Testing And Assessment

Education Commissioner Candice McQueen announced the formation of a special Tennessee Task Force on Student Testing and Assessment to study and identify best practices in testing at the school level and how those assessments align with required state tests. “We have heard some concerns that there is ‘too much testing’ taking place. So as education leaders and stakeholders, ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools Have Several Upcoming Activities

Cleveland City Schools  Board of Education Meeting  will be  Monday, March 2, 5:30 pm  at the Administrative Office Building Board Room.  For more information contact Andrea Byerly,  423-472-9571 ,  abyerly@clevelandschools.org   Cleveland High School's  6th Annual Raider Outreach Day  is  Tuesday, March 3 ... (click for more)

Tennessee Temple University To Close After Almost 70 Years

Tennessee Temple University, after almost 70 years in operation in Highland Park, is set to close after this semester. Trustees are set to vote on Tuesday morning to merge Temple with Piedmont International University of Winston-Salem, N.C. Students who are not graduating this semester would have the option to continue their education there. Bryan College in Dayton, Tn., and ... (click for more)

Brand-New Cleveland Police Chief No Longer In Charge After He Is Caught With Officer's Wife

The brand-new Cleveland Police Chief, Dennis Maddux, is no longer in charge after he was caught in his police car with the wife of one of his officers. City Manager Janice Casteel said she will temporarily lead the department. She said Cpt. Mark Gibson will be in charge of day-to-day operations. City Manager Casteel said, "Pursuant to Article Vlll Section 2 of the City ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Cameras Or Subterfuge?

State Rep. Andy Holt (R-Dresden) is an easy-to-like member of the Tennessee Legislature and the fact he is teaming with state senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) to rid the state of its loathsome traffic cameras is indeed a wonderful thing. The legislative action is long overdue, with the biggest winners being the out-of-state camera companies. That alone is just about all you ... (click for more)