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. 



GPS Students Celebrate Constitution Day

GPS classes studying American history, in the Middle and Upper Schools, take time out every fall to celebrate Constitution Day. The day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, recognizing all who are born in the U.S. or by naturalization, have become citizens. GPS students celebrate by decorating posters to reflect a constitutional ... (click for more)

1.2 Million Childhood Education Dollars To Northwest Georgia

The next generation of Northwest Georgia students and Georgia Northwestern Technical College will benefit from a 1.2 million dollar gift headed their way. The State of Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning has awarded the Early Education Empowerment Zone initiative grant to benefit the children of Catoosa, Gilmer, Gordon, Murray, and Whitfield counties. The announcement ... (click for more)

EPB Officials Huddle With Attorneys Over City Street Lighting Issue

EPB board members huddled with attorneys on the issue of billing for city street lights on Friday morning. EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson asked for the private session with attorneys Rick Hitchcock and Tom Greenholtz of Chambliss Bahner. Don Lepard, owner of Global Green Lighting, earlier filed a $10 million "whistle blower" lawsuit, claiming overbilling by EPB on street lighting. ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Troubling Jameis Winston

One of the greatest things about the American legal system is that each and every crime is judged on its own merits. Just because Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were each arrested for domestic abuse earlier this week, each National Football League football hero will be given an independent hearing and trial, if need be, ... (click for more)