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Full Speed Ahead: WIOA Youth is Set to Sail


After a long time being out of school, Avery moved to Michigan and had a lot of catching up to do to graduate on time. WIA Case Manager Bryan registered Avery for the WIA Grant and in his pursuit of credit completion for graduation he received much mentoring and some support services. With the help of his Case Manager, Avery managed to graduate on time!

During his senior year, Avery participated in a college visit to NMU in Traverse City and was strongly drawn to the Maritime Academy. He was required to achieve a certain level in math for the program, but his skills had fallen short, and it looked like he might not be able to get into the program. With some extra tutoring and encouragement, he was accepted for the engineering area of the academy. WIA was able to offer support services, which included some housing deposit. During the summer after graduation, Avery participated in a WIA work experience, working at the marina in Harrisville for the summer.

At the Academy, classes went pretty well first semester, but Avery still struggled with some of the math. While taking classes, Avery also started a delivery business with a friend. They spent a fair amount of time building the business as best they could. Unfortunately, the extra time spent on the business meant less time on his studies and Avery’s second semester ended with grades that didn't qualify for his continuing in the program.

Being out of the program, Avery wasn’t allowed to go on the 6-week boat excursion, and so he Avery decided to get a job and stay in Traverse City that summer. He worked at Olive Garden and did a good job there. Because he needed an apartment for the summer, WIOA was able to help with one month's rent.

In the fall Avery went back to school, deciding he would take classes for a mechanic certification program and hopefully later get back into the academy. He worked hard and was able to bring up his grades, but there was still question of whether he would be able to receive financial aid due to being on probation. He wrote an appeal to the financial aid office and hoped that it would be determined that he could keep his assistance. After a tense wait, he found out he could remain on assistance.

Second semester went better and Avery was back in the Academy. He’s just about to leave for the 6-week boat class and he’s very excited! He's heard great feedback from other classmates who have had this experience and this is finally his time to sail out!

WIOA Grant Case Manager Barb Retherford states, “I am so pleased to be working with Avery and experiencing his ups and downs, seeing his growth and accomplishments, and being able to assist, along with WIOA, in all the past and upcoming events of the attainment of his dream.”

Created on Tuesday, May 23, 2017