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Top of the World

Top of the World
Top of the World in Norman recently received the Outstanding Business/Industry Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council. Pictured are, from left, Marcie Mack, Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education executive director; Sean Daly, Top of the World credit and collections manager; Kermit McMurry, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education vice chancellor for student affairs; Melissa Fontenot, Top of the World human resources director; and Patrick Klein, Oklahoma Department of Human Services chief officer and division director of adult and family services.
Top of the World in Norman recently received the Outstanding Business/Industry Partner Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

The company was one of eight Oklahoma businesses and nonprofit organizations and 15 Oklahomans honored at the 24th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol on March 29. 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.

Nine students were recognized from the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and award presentations to individuals, businesses and organizations were made at a luncheon at the Oklahoma History Center.

The business has worked with Moore Norman Technology Center’s HIRE program for more than a decade, offering internship and employment opportunities to students, said Becky Wood, HIRE coordinator, who nominated the company for the award. HIRE students find internships at Top of the World in the warehouse, accounting, networking, graphic design, licensing and customer service departments, she said.

“Their generosity doesn’t stop there,” Wood said. “Time and time again, they have offered employment to Moore Norman Technology Center’s interns, moving them from tax-funded citizens to tax-paying citizens.”

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.

“OkCTEEC believes in the phrase, “It takes a village,” and wants to recognize all those who have helped nontraditional students find success. OkCTEEC serves as a unifying council for all personnel serving displaced homemakers, single parents and pregnant women, nontraditional students, at-risk students, teen parents and pregnant teens. The Making It Work Day award ceremony is an event that recognizes and honors all the dedicated and hardworking students, programs and community or business partners that have worked so hard throughout the year to see students’ dreams come to fruition,” said KayTee Niquette, 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 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 is an opportunity to recognize the success of outstanding students from colleges and career technology centers who contribute to making it work in Oklahoma, as well as those administrators, instructors and community partners who have worked to expand opportunities and improve outcomes through their dedicated and invaluable services,” said Angela Barnes, OkCTEEC president and coordinator of the REACH and REACH4Work program at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City. “It is a great day to let our state leaders, legislators and Oklahomans see the faces of those who go over and beyond at making a difference in our state.

“Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council is an organization devoted to equity in education and employment for disadvantaged groups. It is about providing real-life experiences for our students, developing leaders and maintaining relationships within communities.”

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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