Program of Inspiration Enjoyed by Rotary
by Halei Lamb | September 10, 2018 5:52 pm
The Rotary Club of Swainsboro held its September 10, 2018 meeting at Catered Creations in Swainsboro. Cason DeVane welcomed everyone to the meeting. Richard McNeely provided the invocation and Craig McNeely led the pledge, and Rotary Four-Way Test. Terry Reynolds reminded everyone about the Wounded Warrior Banquet on September 27. For more information about the Wounded Warrior Banquet, contact Terry Reynolds. Cason DeVane recognized and welcomed Rocky Davis. Joey Goodman introduced his guest from the Centerville Rotary Club.
Gail Ware was in charge of the program and introduced guest speaker, La’Toya Denise Jackson. Ware stated, “La’Toya is one of my most admired women. La’Toya is a graduate of Southeastern Technical College. Females represent about 72% of the student population at STC, but La’Toya Jackson is not the typical student. La’Toya’s story is one of inspiration. It is a story to be admired.”
La’Toya addressed the Rotarians with, “How would you feel – If you could not hear your mother’s voice? How would you feel – if you could not hear the phone ring? How would you feel – if you could not hear your child call out to you for help? My name is” and she signed… L-a‘T–o–y–a — J–a–c-k-s-o-n, “and I am 100% deaf. It is because of these that I can now hear you.” La’Toya reached to her ear and held up the cochlear implant sound processor and transmitter device to show the group.
How did La’Toya find Southeastern Tech? La’Toya’s job of more than five years came to an abrupt end when the company she worked for closed and relocated to Mexico. Jackson became a single, displaced homemaker with no job and no idea of what the next day would bring for her and her daughter.
As part of the Workforce Investment Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Trade Readjustment Allowances (TRA) provided by the Georgia Department of Labor, La’Toya enrolled in Southeastern Technical College. TRA provides income to support individuals while participating in full-time approved training. “STC gave me courage and integrity. The teachers and staff encouraged me and gave me hope. They made me believe in myself.” La’Toya now has more than one credential under her belt. She has achieved several medical and healthcare technical certificates. She is a certified Medical Assistant plus she also graduated from the Business Healthcare Technology diploma program and plans to obtain the Associate of Applied Science degree as well. La’Toya says that everything she has learned has been building blocks for her to continue to climb and structure her career. La’Toya is currently employed full time as a customer service representative and pharmacy technician at Walgreens.
Ware ended the program with, “Although I saw and chatted with La’Toya on several occasions, I NEVER knew her story until she told it as a finalist at the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) reception. Her story just blew me away! It really touched my heart. I hope it touches your heart too.”
Supporting education is one of Rotary’s major goals. Rotarians strive to take action to empower educators to inspire learning at all ages. The Rotary Club of Swainsboro is a unit of Rotary International and a member of District #6920. Find out more about Rotary International at www.rotary.org. Also, like Swainsboro Rotary at https://www.facebook.com/SwainsboroRotary.
Article by Gail Ware, Swainsboro Rotary Club Chair of Public Relations
Picture: DeVane, Jackson, Ware