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Heather Flores

Heather Flores

Marcie Mack, ODCTE; Twyler Earl, Rose State College; Heather Flores; Lance Newbold, Rose State; Kermit McMurry, OSRHE; John Primo, Rose State.

March 31, 2017

Heather Flores, a graduate of Rose State College’s EPA water-wastewater program, recently received the Breaking Traditions Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Flores was one of 15 people and seven businesses and nonprofit organizations honored at the 23rd annual Making It Work Day March 29 at the state Capitol. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals and organizations 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.

Flores, a single mother of two, arrived at Rose State College’s EmPower Program looking for a way to support herself and her children. Program workers helped her apply to the water-wastewater program sponsored by the EPA at Rose State, said Twyler Earl, director of EmPower and EmPower Works, who nominated Flores for the award.

Flores completed the program with honors, earning several operators licenses and receiving multiple job offers at the conclusion of her training, Earl said. Flores now works at a job that allows her to support her family and spends time volunteering with her children to help other people, Earl said.

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 women, nontraditional students and at-risk females. The Making It Work Day award ceremony is held to honor the tireless work of these amazing students, programs and community and business partners,” said Charlie Weeks, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education.

He serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“Making It Work Day at the Capitol focuses on those people in our communities across this state who have gone above and beyond to improve their lives and the lives of others: students who have overcome great barriers to success, instructors who give extra support, administrators who prove what good leadership can do, businesses and community partners who offer a second or even third chance for others to get on their feet,” said Leslie Brown, OkCTEEC president and POWER program director at Western Oklahoma State College.

“That is what we recognize at Making It Work Day at the Capitol. It is their chance to shine and OkCTEEC’s chance to let our state leaders see the faces of those who are truly working hard in our state. Legislators throughout Oklahoma get to meet those who have made a difference in Oklahoma. We at OkCTEEC are honored to be able to have this day of recognition for those who are so deserving.”

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

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

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