October 21, 2020

Paxen Learning Program Helping Teens

Several Heard County teenagers have recently been participating in an innovative new learning program.

The after-school program, which is sponsored by the West Central Georgia Workforce Development Corporation and the West Central Georgia Workforce Investment Board, provides youth with new opportunities to develop their critical thinking and life coping skills.

The teens also receive GED coaching if needed and gain new perspectives on the job market and valuable work-readiness training as well as a chance to explore career options.

The program, which is coordinated by Paxen Learning, is free to participants who can also earn incentives by reaching and completing specific milestones.

Eligibility is based on specific needs-based guidelines such as income. The curriculum features two separate components.

During the work-readiness component of the program held this past summer, more than 10 Heard County youth took part in classroom instruction.

The curriculum included opportunities for the kids to develop basic work skills. They also learned how to dress and act professionally and to work within a team environment.

They then were placed, under supervision and guidance, at job sites in the local area to gain real-world job skills experience. For example, a few youth were placed at parks and recreation and public works departments within the Heard County government.

Paxen Learning specializes in developing and delivering outcome-based educational programs that build academic, life and employability skills for at-risk youths and adults. Each year, thousands graduate from Paxen programs on their journey toward meaningful employment. The company currently operates more than 30 programs in 8 states. Its clients and partners include the American Hotel and Lodging Association, Blackboard, Department of Defense, Department of Juvenile Justice, Home Builders Institute, National Guard Bureau, the National Guard in a variety of states, the Department of Labor in a variety of states, and local Workforce Investment Boards.

The program also features an after-school component which just completed a cycle but is scheduled to resume next month.

The program is designed to serve 180 youth in a six county area which includes Heard, Meriwether, Pike, Coweta, Spalding, and Butts counties.

In Heard County, the program is designed to serve a total of 15 youth and does currently have openings. During the fall cycle, classes were held on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Franklin Community Center.

We spoke with two teens who have participated in both parts of the program so far and they were very complimentary and appreciative of the program.

La’Christian Franklin, a Heard High Senior, hopes to use the skills she learned to pursue a  career in psychology. Sophomore Lanekia Favors plans to study cosmetology.

La’Christian worked last summer with W.O.W. advertising while Lanekia worked at Rock Ridge. Both girls were especially excited that the program provided them with wages for the work they did.

For more information on the program you can visit www.paxen.com or you may contact Melanie Banks (Program Manager) at mbanks@paxen.com. You may also phone (770)229-3558 or (770)658-0853.

(L-R) Lanekia Favors, Program Instructor Maurice Sellers, and La'Christian Franklin at the Franklin Community Center during a recent class meeting

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