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Meagan Liatto - Western Oklahoma State College, Southwest Technology Center

April 16, 2015

Western Oklahoma State College student Meagan Liatto recently received the Outstanding Student Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.

She 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.

Liatto was a return client to the POWER Program at WOSC, said Leslie Brown, POWER Program director, who nominated her for the award. When Liatto entered the program the second time, Brown said, she had made changes in her life, including finding a home with her grandparents.

“She was now taking care of her daughter and needed to get an education,” Brown said.

Liatto completed the business computer course at Southwest Technology Center, earning 18 college credit hours through the Cooperative Alliance Program before transferring to WOSC and completing a full semester. She began working as a library aide at the end of the semester.

“She is currently working on her college degree and has moved into her own home,” she said. “Meagan’s transformation is not just remarkable; it is testimonial.”

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.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit www.cteec.org/. For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit www.okcareertech.org.

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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