GODFREY – The road to success doesn’t always follow a typical path. Jarrius Burton is one example of how education and leadership skills can be achieved through non-traditional means.
Although the public school system wasn’t a good fit for Burton, 18, of Alton, he knew he wanted to continue his education, so he joined L&C’s YouthBuild program where he’s working to complete his GED®/High School Equivalency.
“High school wasn’t the best option for me because I didn’t feel like I was working toward a goal I wanted to achieve,” Burton said. “I wasn’t motivated to get up every morning to go. I would miss school a lot because I hated going.”
The YouthBuild program, a part of L&C’s Adult Education division and an Americorps affiliate, helped him discover all the opportunities available to him.
“The best part about YouthBuild is all the amazing people and the opportunities that have opened because of it,” he said. “I love that they’ve helped me become a leader and taught me things along my journey. The program works for people who want to feel they’re a priority. You can learn at your own pace and be rewarded for learning and staying motivated.”
Burton looks to complete his GED® soon and has already enrolled in a college-level course at Lewis and Clark. He’s on track to complete the YouthBuild program by the end of 2020.
His success in the Adult Ed program and his natural enthusiasm made him an excellent candidate to become a student ambassador.
Pathway Advocate Kavon Lacey describes Burton as an outgoing student who always wants to know what he can do to help.
“Jarrius has a team-first mentality,” Lacey said. “We are very proud to have him with us as part of our student ambassador team. He’s a great role model for students entering our program.”
The Adult Ed student ambassador group is a newly formed outreach program. Active students, like Burton, work to help others in the community who want to further their education or need help with job training.
“In a student like Jarrius, you can see his passion and motivation,” Lacey said. “As an ambassador, he can channel that energy and get the word out to people the Adult Ed program can help the most. People can relate to him.”
Burton’s goal is to become an entrepreneur.
“I want to start my own business and support my family by doing something I love,” he said.
His role as a student ambassador will help Burton acquire qualities he’ll need on his path to entrepreneurship. Ambassadors develop self-confidence and skills such as public speaking and networking.
The programs in the Adult Ed department are free of charge.
Sept. 20-26 is National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week. Celebrate with L&C by sharing your stories on social media using #AEFLWeek and #TrailblazersTogether.
Learn more about L&C’s Adult Education division and the programs it offers by calling (618) 468-4141 or visit www.lc.edu/adulted.