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. 



Brenda Hughes Begins "Journey To Success" At Cleveland State

It was just a few months ago when Brenda Hughes heard her name called amongst the many award recipients at Cleveland State’s Community First Gala. Although she knew ahead of time she would be receiving the award for Non-Profit Leadership, the Community First Person of the Year Award was a huge surprise for Hughes. “There were so many true leaders up on that stage,” stated ... (click for more)

CSCC’s LaBine Receives Volunteer Of The Year Award

Dr. Nancy LaBine, director of Nursing at Cleveland State Community College, was awarded the Tennessee Head Start 2015-2016 Community Volunteer of the Year Award by the Family Resource Agency, Inc. Tennessee Early Head Start/Head Start Policy Council. “We don’t expect to receive an award for doing the right thing, but when it happens it really is surprising and humbling,” said ... (click for more)

Spiegel Says Walker County Could Make Payments On $8,705,000 Hutcheson Debt; James Says Letter is Heavy-Handed

Erlanger Health System CEO Kevin Spiegel has written Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell to say that Erlanger would consider taking payments on the $8,705,000 Hutcheson debt. Stuart James, special counsel for Walker County, called the overture "heavy-handed." Walker County earlier offered a $1.3 million "global settlement" that was rejected by Erlanger. Catoosa County ... (click for more)

Customer At East Ridge Gas Station Shoots And Kills Robber; He Had Been Trying To Take Female Clerk With Him

East Ridge Police said a customer at an East Ridge gas station early Thursday morning shot a robber, who was then found by police lying outside the station and was arrested.  The robber has died.  His name is being withheld pending the notification of next of kin. At 1:47 a.m., East Ridge Police responded to 4011 Ringgold Road, the Marathon Service Station, on ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (6)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

I can never remember a day in July when my garden, my lawn, my dogwood tree, and my ferns are all wilting for lack of rain. Right now we are more than eight inches under our average rainfall for the first six months and, on this wonderful weekend, those who love firecrackers are urged to keep a pail of water in case a spark could cause a fire. On the other hand, every July 4 th ... (click for more)