Tag Archives: YCAP

Tiara Hill named YCAP Leon Rankin Award recipient at year-end celebration

Hill is also the recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for the Robotics & Manufacturing Department and the Alumni Board of Managers 2017 Leadership Award.

Tiara Hill with YCAP's Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Tiara Hill with YCAP’s Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Earlier this month, Tiara Hill was named the recipient of the 2017 Dunwoody College of Technology Leon Rankin Award at the year-end YCAP graduation reception. Hill recently graduated with an associate’s degree in Welding & Metal Fabrication.

The Leon Rankin Award is given to a Dunwoody Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) student who shows academic excellence by maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher, has a 100% attendance record at all YCAP events, and acts as a mentor to their fellow students both in YCAP and in the classroom.

The award is named in honor of Leon Adam Rankin, Jr. After moving to Minnesota in 1958, Rankin attended Dunwoody College, earning an Electrician Journeyman License. He became a Master Electrician and contractor in 1968. He was a respected citizen, civil rights activist, businessman, teacher, family and marriage counselor, and one of two African-American Master Electricians in Minnesota. Rankin and former Dunwoody President Warren Phillips co-created YCAP in 1988 to provide enhanced career opportunities for under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

A graduate of Park Center Senior High School, Hill wasn’t sure if she would be able to attend college. She had applied for a number of scholarships, but none of them had worked out. So when a case manager at a local non-profit suggested Hill apply for the YCAP scholarship at Dunwoody, she was skeptical.

“Before Dunwoody, college was nothing but a dream for me,” Hill said. “I really think this was the best decision I ever made.”

As a first-generation college student, Hill has made great strides in her education, now serving as a mentor to other YCAP members. Hill was also a student worker in the Welding Shop and testified before the Minnesota Legislature on behalf of YCAP to provide background on a bill that would give grants to pilot programs in Ramsey County focused on serving girls of color.

Hill is also the recipient of the 2017 Academic Excellence Award for the Robotics & Manufacturing Department and the Alumni Board of Managers 2017 Leadership Award.

Former YCAP student and program manager speaks at celebration

In addition to awarding the Leon Rankin Award, the year-end YCAP celebration is a time for students to reflect on their success and gear up for their future. So it was fitting that the guest speaker for the event was YCAP alum and former YCAP Program Manager Benito Matias.

From left to right: Vice President of Enrollment Management Cindy Olson, Principal of Ascension Catholic School Benito Matias, and Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

From left to right: Vice President of Enrollment Management Cindy Olson, Principal of Ascension Catholic School Benito Matias, and YCAP’s Associate Director of Special Initiatives Peggy Quam

Matias graduated from Patrick Henry High School and came to Dunwoody on a YCAP scholarship. After graduating from Dunwoody, Matias went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Bemidji State University.

Although his studies are in technology, Matias has spent the last 25 years in the field of education.

Matias’s educational work has included being a Dunwoody Instructor, a Minneapolis Public School District teacher, the YCAP program manager, and the Executive Director of MetroTech Career Academy. He currently serves as the Principal of Ascension Catholic School in Minneapolis.

Learn more about Dunwoody’s YCAP program at dunwoody.edu.

Mock Interviews gear Dunwoody students up for life after college

Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students learn many life skills during their monthly workshops. The latest month: how to interview for a job.

IMG_0989On Thursday, April 6, Dunwoody College of Technology Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students brushed off their résumés and prepared for mock interview sessions with the City of Lakes Rotary Club.

The Rotary Club has been conducting mock interviews with YCAP students for several years.

“This is one of the Rotary Club’s projects that they really take great pride in,” said Associate Director of Special Initiatives, YCAP Peggy Quam. “It’s their way to give back and stay connected to YCAP.”

YCAP students find mock interviews a valuable learning experience

IMG_1036The mock interviews took place in the College’s Decker Auditorium where each student was paired up with a Rotary Club member for 25 minutes. During that time, students conducted an informational interview and then collected feedback from their partner on their skills. Students interviewed with three different professionals throughout the evening.

“It was a really good learning experience for us,” YCAP student Donald Posterick said. “It was good for getting used to how to act in an interview and strengthening the skills I need to talk to people.”

IMG_0979YCAP Student Erik Ernst had only done a few interviews in the past, and those interviewers hadn’t offered any feedback. “So it was interesting to hear what I had done well and what I needed to work on in the future,” Ernst said.

Preparing for a mock interview

To prepare, students were asked to refine their résumé with Associate Director of Career Services Rob Borchardt.

Borchardt works one-on-one with students every day to make sure they feel confident for their upcoming interviews and their résumés are attractive to employers.

IMG_0982“A well-written résumé is the key to a job interview, so it’s vital that students are able to communicate their skills, experience, and strengths,” Borchardt said. “Dunwoody students are top candidates and a great resume provides a major leg up in any of our students’ job searches.”

About YCAP

Since 1988, Dunwoody College’s YCAP has helped more than 1,300 students gain access to a college education.

YCAP’s mission is to enhance the career opportunities of underrepresented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and earn a degree from Dunwoody.

YCAP students complete a six-week paid summer internship filled with career exploration, field trips, and college-readiness courses. After the camp, students are eligible for a $20,000 scholarship to attend Dunwoody.

Learn more at dunwoody.edu/ycap.

Lakeram Seriram named Youth Career Awareness Program Leon Rankin Award recipient

From left to right: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP  Manager Peggy Quam

From left to right: College President Rich Wagner, Lakeram Seriram, and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam

Lakeram Seriram is the recipient of the 2016 Dunwoody College of Technology Leon Rankin Award. Seriram is about to earn his associate’s degree in the Toyota Technician Training & Education Network.

The Leon Rankin Award is given to a Dunwoody Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) student who shows academic excellence by maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher, has a 100% attendance record at all YCAP events and acts as a mentor to their fellow students both in YCAP and in the classroom.

The award is named in honor of Leon Adam Rankin, Jr. After moving to Minnesota in 1958, Rankin attended Dunwoody College, earning an Electrician Journeyman License. He became a Master Electrician and contractor in 1968. He was a respected citizen, civil rights activist, businessman, teacher, family and marriage counselor, and one of two African-American Master Electricians in Minnesota. Rankin and President Emeritus Warren Phillips co-created YCAP in 1988 to provide enhanced career opportunities for under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

Chosen for his dedication to both his classmates and his schoolwork, Seriram has been a model YCAP student throughout his time at Dunwoody.

“Lakeram is very mature, respectful, honest, sincere and hardworking,” Automotive Principal Instructor Dave DuVal said. “He’s always willing to help his fellow classmates if they need it. Students like Lakeram are why I continue to teach.”

Lakeram Seriram is a 2014 graduate of Fridley High School. After graduating from Dunwoody, he plans to work for a Lexus Dealership in Wayzata.

Dunwoody student testifies in MN Legislature on behalf of College’s YCAP program

YCAP student Tiara Hill

Pictured: YCAP student Tiara Hill

On Friday, April 15, Dunwoody College of Technology student Tiara Hill testified before a Minnesota State Senate committee on behalf of the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) to provide background on a bill that would give grants to pilot programs in Ramsey County focused on serving girls of color.

The awarded grants would be used to:

  • Increase the academic success of girls of color.
  • Reduce suspensions in public elementary and secondary schools.
  • Increase on-time high school graduation rates.
  • Encourage their pursuit of a postsecondary education program.

If awarded the grant, the recipient organization would develop a model program that other counties in the Twin Cities metropolitan area can replicate and use.

YCAP: a model for success

Since 1988, Dunwoody’s YCAP program has been a model for enhancing career opportunities for under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school. Its goal is to provide more females and students of color who come from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to attend college. Since its start, YCAP has assisted more than 1,250 students.

YCAP begins with a six-week summer camp where high school juniors and seniors get the chance to explore technical career opportunities and take college-readiness courses.

After the summer camp, YCAP offers a supplemental scholarship to assist with tuition, books, supplies, and technology fees for students choosing to attend Dunwoody.

Ninety six percent of YCAP students graduate from high school and 85% go on to a post-secondary education at Dunwoody. With these success rates, it’s no wonder the Legislature was interested in learning more about it to help form their upcoming decision.

Hill testifies in state Senate

Hill was excited to speak on behalf of YCAP to support this bill because she felt that without the YCAP scholarship, she wouldn’t have been able to attend college.

Hill was accepted into Dunwoody’s YCAP program in 2015 and will earn her Welding Technology certificate in May 2016.

“I didn’t have the option to go to college due to my finances,” Hill said. “[YCAP] gave me that chance, and I think that this bill will give a lot of other women in my situation a chance, too.”

Of the opportunity to testify before the Senate committee, Hill said: “It was amazing! I think that was the first time I had ever been scared, happy and excited all at once!”

After graduation, Tiara plans to come back to Dunwoody to complete a degree in Machine Tool Technology and get more involved in her field of study.

“But my huge goal is to give back to Dunwoody,” Tiara said. “I want to provide people with scholarships to attend school here. I truly enjoyed every moment here, and I am looking forward to next year.”

Find more information about the YCAP program on Dunwoody’s website or contact YCAP program coordinator Peggy Quam at pquam@dunwoody.edu.

YCAP revved Lakeram Seriram up for an automotive degree

 Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.


Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015.

Lakeram Seriram is finishing up his first year in the two-year Toyota Technical Education Network (TTEN) program at Dunwoody College of Technology. As he reflects on the milestone in his college career Seriram says he’s thankful for the support of his family and the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) that prepared him for the rigors of higher education.

The mission of YCAP is to enhance the career opportunities of under-represented youth by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

Seriram lived in Guyana before moving to the United States at three and a half years old. The 2014 Fridley High School graduate says he grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

During his search for the right college, Seriram and a friend attended one of Dunwoody’s open houses where he learned about the College’s small class sizes, emphasis on hands-on learning and how the YCAP program could help him pay for college and transition smoothly from a high school to college learning environment.

Since he is the first in his immediate family to attend college, Seriram thought YCAP would be a great option for him to explore the various aspects of technical education.

During the summer, YCAP students take college-level classes in the morning—like math, business, and physics—and in the afternoon hands-on technology classes in almost all of the technologies that Dunwoody offers. On Fridays, students visit companies to network with professionals in the fields they are interested in.

Seriram said during the summer months YCAP students get to know their instructors and other students—and it removes the “awkward stage” at the start of the school year.

“The YCAP summer program shows you what’s coming up in the future. You can’t slack off at Dunwoody. You have to do work here, I learned that my first semester,” he said. “I like the small classes. I don’t get drowned out by 60 other people, and the teachers are always listening and helping.”

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

Seriram grew up observing his uncle, Motie Seriram, working on cars, which sparked his desire to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

“Lakeram is a shining example of a YCAP student fully utilizing the career and college-readiness resources the program aims to provide. He’s had perfect attendance and is actively engaged during YCAP events and activities,” said YCAP Program Manager Peggy Quam.

One of the YCAP activities Seriram participated in during the summer of 2014 was a tour of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership.

It was that dealership tour that solidified Seriram’s decision to enter the TTEN program. “I liked the environment. Sure, it’s a strict dealership, but I could tell that everybody was close and liked each other. They were joking around but still getting their work done,” he said.

Seriram said he was intrigued by the culture of the Lexus of Wayzata dealership so he applied for a job. He’s been working at Lexus of Wayzata since August 2014 and his formal internship starts in fall of 2015. “I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

“I get to see what I’ve learned at Dunwoody in the real world,” he said. “Each day at work is something different. One day I can be doing oil changes, the next day all tires. I like the thrill of things never being the same.”

Seriram said he hopes to have a long career at the Lexus dealership and maybe even open his own shop someday.

The next YCAP application deadline is May 1. For more information or to apply, visit www.dunwoody.edu/ycap/ or contact Peggy Quam at 612-381-3067 or pquam@dunwoody.edu.

 

 

 

Brenda Piliego-Geniz receives $15,000 scholarship from Minneapolis Rotary Club

Pictured (l-r): YCAP Manager Peggy Quam, Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, and President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright. Piliego-Geniz is holding a skin diagram she created in her studio class using SketchUp. The diagram shows what a house looks like when it is pulled apart and the materials are exposed.

Pictured (l-r): YCAP Manager Peggy Quam, Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, and President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright. Piliego-Geniz is holding a skin diagram she created in her studio class using SketchUp. The diagram shows what a house looks like when it is pulled apart and the materials are exposed.

Architecture student Brenda Piliego-Geniz, of Arden Hills, recently received a $15,000 scholarship from The Minneapolis Rotary Club to assist her studies at Dunwoody. Piliego-Geniz is a participant in the College’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP). YCAP enhances the career opportunities of under-represented youth, by empowering them to graduate from high school and obtain a degree from Dunwoody.

For the past 20 years the Minneapolis Rotary Club has granted a scholarship to a student in the YCAP program. Piliego-Geniz was selected as the scholarship recipient because of her GPA and involvement in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. She received the scholarship check at the rotary breakfast on Oct. 29–which she was accompanied to by Dunwoody President Emeritus Dr. C. Ben Wright, Senior Development Officer Mary Meador and YCAP Manager Peggy Quam.

“I want to say thank you for the scholarship. It really means a lot to me because I am the youngest of four and the first to go to college, and I have nobody to ask what the experience was for them and how they got through it,” Piliego-Geniz said.

She added that the scholarship allows to her focus on her schoolwork instead of worrying about how she is going to pay for her education.

For more information about Dunwoody’s YCAP program, visit www.dunwoody.edu/ycap.

DONALDSON FOUNDATION DONATES $25,000 TO DUNWOODY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY’S YCAP PROGRAM

Donaldson Company, Inc.’s generous $25,000 grant to Dunwoody College of Technology’s Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) will aid the College in redesigning the program to increase the number of diverse students earning an associate’s degree at Dunwoody in pursuit of a technical career.

The YCAP program makes technical education both appealing and affordable for a diverse population–including students of color, first-generation college students, immigrants, and young women. Beginning in high school and continuing at Dunwoody, YCAP offers mentorship, supplemental academic support, and financial assistance that lead to a path of fulfilling and well-paid careers.

“The face of the Twin Cities is changing—we are quickly becoming a much more diverse community. Yet many of our students of color and young women still do not consider a technical career when planning for their future,” said Vice President of Enrollment Management Collette Garrity. “To maintain our region’s robust economy, it is important that all of our young people have the opportunity to pursue an education at a great college that will lead to a great career with a great salary. The Donaldson Foundation grant will make it possible for us to create a YCAP 2.0 that will better speak to the needs and dreams of Twin Cities youth.”

The redesign will respond to both the demographic changes and changing employment needs of the region. YCAP 2.0 will have new leadership and other programmatic changes resulting in a stronger, more effective and collaborative program.

“The Donaldson Foundation is excited to support the Dunwoody YCAP program, because we believe in its value and sustainability. It supports education within and around underrepresented communities in which our employees work and live. This aligns well with the mission of our Foundation and we are grateful for the opportunity to help,” said Donaldson Foundation Director Mike Dwyer.

For more information about Dunwoody’s YCAP program, visit http://www.dunwoody.edu/ycap/

For more information about the Donaldson Foundation, visit https://www.donaldson.com/en/about/community/foundation.html

 

Machine Tool Technology program earns “Best CNC Student Project” at HTEC National Conference

The Machine Tool Technology program brought home the prize for “Best Student CNC Project” at the 2013 Haas Technical Education Centers (HTEC) National Conference held July 15 in Edmonton, Alberta.

The conference was hosted at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), a leader in supplying trained machinists and operators to support the booming oil industry. “Filling the Manufacturing Pipeline” was the theme of the conference to discuss both the actual oil pipeline and advocating for how to get skilled workers to fill these jobs.

Prior to the conference the Machine Tool Technology program, led by Senior Machine Tool Technology Instructor Brian Nelsen and Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle, worked with Dunwoody Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students to design and build coasters using Solidworks design software and Haas CNC machines.

“The goal of the project was to get YCAP students interested in manufacturing from design to build,” said Daigle. “It worked so well we decided to use this project as an entry for the CNC Student Project competition.”

A total of four awards were given at the conference for outstanding CNC projects. Dunwoody brought 100 sample coasters with next year’s conference dates to give out to attendees.

Daigle said conference attendees shared positive comments about the project and were happy to take home a memento.

The prize for winning was a $2,000 Haas CNC simulator that allows students to debug code before entering the lab to make parts.

“With the increased enrollment in the Machine Tool program this will allow even more students access to a CNC control panel outside of their normal lab hours,” Daigle said.

The 2014 HTEC National Conference will be hosted at Dunwoody.

Prior to the conference the Machine Tool Technology program, led by Senior Machine Tool Technology Instructor Brian Nelsen and Dean of Robotics & Manufacturing E.J. Daigle, worked with Dunwoody Youth Career Awareness Program (YCAP) students to design and build coasters using Solidworks design software and Haas CNC machines.

The prize for winning was a $2,000 Haas CNC simulator that allows students to debug code before entering the lab to make parts.