BOCES, Job Corps Celebrate Nursing Graduates

The 2018 graduating class of the Licensed Practical Nursing program of Erie 2 BOCES, offered via a collaboration with Cassadaga Job Corps Academy, is nicknamed the “Sweet 16.” This partnership has helped dozens of men and women secure their career as a nurse, or launched them into continued education and training to advance their career.

CASSADAGA — The innovative and successful partnership between the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy and Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES gathered recently to mark the completion of their 18th graduating class of licensed practical nurses. Family, friends, faculty, and staff gathered at Park United Methodist Church on Maple Avenue to celebrate the hard work and commitment of the aspiring professionals.

Graduates included: Chanel Cortina, Lorraine Crump, Lacy Downey, Kattina Forte, Allyiah Guiont, Dakota Hecker-Weitl, Salima James, Tavonya Joseph, Katana Misa, Mayra Rodriguez, Steven Rodriguez, Brandon Santiago, Kenia Guzman-Sayago, Danielle Walch, Azhara Williams and Ahsakia Worthing.

Job Corps Career Technical Training Manager Vicki Yonkers opened the program with welcoming remarks, and acknowledged the 16 graduates by dubbing them the “Sweet 16.” Following Yonkers’ remarks was E2CCB Workforce Development Director Dr. Janeil Rey. She thanked the staff of both Job Corps and E2CCB for their attention to the graduates and their contributions to helping them succeed.

“You have made it through a long and difficult winter, both literally and metaphorically,” said Rey to the graduates. “This is one tough program, and your place here today is a testament to your ability and perseverance.”

The guest speaker for the commencement was Sylvester Cleary, a longtime member of the E2CCB Board of Education. Cleary focused his message on the importance of striving to achieve your goals, and then setting new goals once those are achieved. His uplifting message and words of encouragement were received with applause as he handed the microphone off, and a slideshow featuring the graduates began.

The future nurses enjoyed a reception following commencement exercises held at Park United Methodist Church in Cassadaga.

The highlight of the day followed next, as E2CCB instructors called the graduates up to receive their pin, diploma, and hugs to mark the end of their journey. Special awards were presented to co-salutatorians Allyiah Guiont and Azhara Williams. The class valedictorian was announced as Kattina Forte, who came to the microphone to say a few words. During her speech she stated, “I was just another kid, going through high school, and doing what I was supposed to do. Then, after I graduated I lost my way. When I enrolled in Job Corps, and then later co-enrolled with the BOCES LPN program my path once again became clear.”

The final step in the LPN graduation was the reciting of the Nurse’s Pledge. Graduates rose and repeated the words that were recited by Health Care Services Specialist Susan Sosinski to affirm their commitment to their profession and the care of their future patients. Cassadaga Job Corps Academy Director Ann Anderson closed the ceremony and reminded the class how important they are in their new role. She thanked them for the mark they have left on the center, thanked E2CCB for it continued partnership, the families for their support, and wished the graduates luck as they move forward in their new profession.

This partnership has helped dozens of men and women secure their career as a nurse, or launched them into continued education and training to advance their career. E2CCB provides the instruction, skill development and clinical experiences, while Job Corps provides the scholarship to eligible students to attend, as well as supportive services throughout the training period. Upon graduation, Job Corps continues follow-up and assistance with placement services.

For more information about the LPN program at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy, please contact the admissions office by calling 595-4200 or 805-3120 or visit or