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Samantha Brem

March 31, 2017

Samantha Brem, a graduate of Canadian Valley Technology Center, recently received the Breaking Traditions Student Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Brem 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.

Brem graduated in December from CVTC’s precision machining program. A single mother of two, she had previously dropped out of the program because of a lack of funds, said Kathy Stamps, CVTC PIVOT internship/placement coordinator, who nominated Brem for the award. After dropping out, Brem applied to work at machine shops, but the hours did not work with the daycare she needed for her children, so she took a job at Goodwill, Stamps said.

“Samantha knew she wanted to finish the complete precision program. She also wanted the pride she would have in herself for completing the entire certification program,” Stamps said. “She worked over the summer trying to save her money and be better prepared to come back to school.”

Brem re-entered the program in August 2016 and graduated in December. She is now a full-time CNC machinist with Badgett Corp.

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

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