Fairbanks Center staff form new partnerships

Cy-Fair College student organizations are not the only ones participating in community outreach efforts, so are Cy-Fair College employees at the Fairbanks Center.

Last spring, Cy-Fair College formed two new partnerships, one with Mission of Yahweh and another with Dean Middle School. 

Employees at the Fairbanks Center held a lunch and information session on financial aid, continuing education and career counseling for Mission of Yahweh Director Dee Johnson and guests. This partnership is now opening doors of opportunity for residents at the non-denominational Christian shelter to further their education.

“We are excited to offer Mission of Yahweh residents one-on-one guidance and the chance to earn their GED, or like Olean Lemons, earn an occupational certification,” said Deana Sheppard, executive director and dean of the Fairbanks Center.

Lemons, a mother of four children and two grandchildren, unfortunately fell on hard times in 2006 and has been at Mission Yahweh since January 2007. A former Certified Nurse Assistant, she now works weekends as a cook as she pursues a nursing career at Cy-Fair College. She is currently taking summer pre-requisite courses toward earning her LVN and is already enrolled for the fall semester.

Johnson said “My dream is to identify three or four career certification tracks that will be the most beneficial – training programs that will allow our women to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing, with good-paying jobs to sustain them.”

In additional to educating neighborhood adults, the Fairbanks Center staff are helping are students learn at Dean Middle School.

“We adopted this area school because we wanted to give back to a community who has given so much to us,” said Sheppard. “To help students starting high school this fall get ahead, we collected and donated 150 books on the eighth-graders’ summer reading list. This year, our staff will also be mentoring and tutoring Dean students.”

Fairbanks Center employees also gave Dean faculty members candy jars as a thank you at the end of the school year for their dedication to teaching.