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Erica Hawkins, LeFlore County Literacy/TANF Literacy Initiative

Erica Hawkins, LeFlore County Literacy/TANF Literacy Initiative

From left, Jim Struby, OKDHS; Rep. James Lockhart; Erica Hawkins; Janie Clay, OkCTEEC; Joe Robinson, ODCTE; and Kathy Quinn-Teague, OSRHE.

April 25, 2014

Erica Hawkins and the LeFlore County Literacy/TANF Literacy Initiative recently received the Outstanding Community/Agency Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Educators Equity Council.

Hawkins and the initiative were among 25 individuals and organizations honored at the 20th annual Making It Work Day April 24 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 and members who received national honors for their efforts.

Hawkins works with the Power I program at Carl Albert State College to help students who need remediation, said Ramona Smith, Power I director, who nominated Hawkins for the award. She provides teaching materials and information to the Power I program and invites Power I students to beneficial presentations, Smith said.

“The dedication to her job and students – reaching out to help beyond what is required – is the reason Ms. Hawkins is the recipient of this award,” she added.

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.

“State and federal programs often cannot remove all the obstacles facing those living in poverty,” said Janie Clay, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the Allied Jobs Program at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College. “Therefore, a strong community partnership is imperative among agencies, businesses and industries as the participants transition from education and training to employment and self-sufficiency. We rely heavily on our partners to provide learning opportunities outside the classroom.”

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Laura Wilson, Writer/Editor

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