Holly Clark - Southwest Technology Center, Western Oklahoma State College
Joe Robinson, ODCTE; Kathy Quinn-Teague, OSRHE; Holly Clark, Southwest Technology Center graduate; Marva White, OkCTEEC; Ed Lake, DHS.
April 16, 2015
Southwest Technology Center graduate Holly Clark recently received the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.
Clark was one of 19 people honored at the 21st annual Making It Work Day April 15 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students.
Clark entered the POWER Program at Western Oklahoma State College and chose to study aviation maintenance technology at Southwest Technology Center.
“When presented the options of careers, she knew in her heart she was not created to sit in an office,” said Leslie Brown, director of the POWER Program, who nominated her for the award. “Miss Clark proved her determination with overcoming every obstacle that she encountered, working long hours and through breaks to reach her goal.”
Clark is now an aviation mechanic and crew chief on the C17 at Altus Air Force Base.
“She has broken a tradition that dictates the idea that women with big families do not have the time or means to achieve this certification,” Brown said. “Holly is continuing her education even today while working full time and taking care of her children.”
OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.
“The mission of OkCTEEC is to serve as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents, teen parents, single pregnant teens and women, nontraditional students and at-risk females,” said Lou Ann Hargrave, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Sandy Elledge of the Department of Human Services and Kathy Quinn-Teague of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.
“Our work-prep programs offer students the education and technical training they need to rise above challenges resulting from poverty,” said Marva White, OkCTEEC president and TOP program coordinator at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. “Our programs provide the support they need to overcome barriers to their success and find viable employment. These positive outcomes would certainly not be possible without the myriad supportive services from our business and community partners. They generously provide opportunities and resources and encouragement to assure student success.
Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor