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Dropouts No More: Young Adults Overcome Failure to Earn Diplomas

Thursday, June 09, 2011

BOONTON, NJ – June 9, 2011 -Refusing to accept academic failure, 42 young adults were honored Wednesday for earning their high school diplomas and preparing for successful futures.

“Everybody treats us with respect, and the instructors believe in me,” said 17-year-old Elvis Reyes, who attended the commencement ceremony at the Elks Lodge in Boonton. The Dover resident will attend the County College of Morris in the fall to pursue a career in radiography.

Tiara Nocchi, 17, of Wharton, struggled to keep pace with her teachers at Morris Hills High School. She gave up and turned to NewBridge Jobs Plus, where the instructors “wouldn’t move onto new material until they were sure we actually learned it,” she said.

Nocchi’s sister Jessica Yates – a 2001 graduate of NewBridge Jobs Plus – jumped to her feet and cheered when Nocchi was named an Associate of the Year. “I told her she could do this, and she even got an award!” Yates said. “I am very proud of her.”

Brian Wells, 18, of Mine Hill, said the program put him on track to achieve his dream of becoming a professional auto mechanic. Wells had struggled through most of his classes at Dover High School and by last June, he was at risk of dropping out.

At NewBridge Jobs Plus, the instructors “made learning easy for me, and I got one-on-one help when I needed it,” said Wells, who also was honored as Associate of the Year. NewBridge guided Wells through the application and financial aid process so he can enroll in a national automotive school in September. NewBridge also helped him land a full-time job at a Jiffy Lube.

In its 27th year, NewBridge Jobs Plus helps residents of Morris, Sussex and Warren counties between the ages of 16 and 21 earn high school diplomas and focus on long-term career goals. The free program offers group and individual educational, job training and placement assistance, as well as free transportation in Morris County.

This year’s graduates hail from Boonton, Butler, Dover, Lake Hopatcong, Mine Hill, Morristown, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Randolph, Rockaway, Roxbury, Stanhope and elsewhere.

NewBridge Jobs Plus receives funding from the Workforce Investment Board of Morris//Sussex and Warren Counties, the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, United Way of Morris County, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, NewBridge Fund, Verizon and community residents. For information on NewBridge 70001 Jobs Plus, call (973) 335-0666.

About NewBridge Services
Founded in 1963, NewBridge Services, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) community organization providing innovative programs and education services in five focus areas: mental health, addiction, housing, youth programs and senior services. Whether guiding people as they cope with stress, grief, or substance abuse, or providing advice to those with parenting, relationship or caregiving challenges, NewBridge helps people bring balance to their lives.

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