Pinellas County Job Corps Center Divine-9
BY ANN SHERMAN-WHITE, M.ED., Business Community Liaison and Student Government Association Advisor
ST. PETERSBURG — The Divine Nine or D-9, as they are affectionally known, have proven to be a force on the national political scene. This was made evident by their ability to galvanize their collective power under the umbrella of the National Panhellenic Council and help elect the country’s first female vice president of color.
The D-9 helped determine the outcome of not only a national presidential election but also elections at the state and local level. But for those that are members, or are familiar with their community prowess, understand just how entrenched in the community they are.
As a result of their influence in a myriad of areas and their ability to weave seamlessly into the country’s fabric and the world, they are seen as fundamental components in the quest towards preparing tomorrow’s workforce.
Locally, their presence can be felt on the Pinellas County Job Corps Center (PCJCC) campus. The staff members representing various Divine Nine members will gladly agree their perspective colors represent only a portion of who they are.
Those same members who proudly wear their paraphernalia on campus mirror much of the same influence seen at the national level, only disseminated locally. For example, suppose a student seeks help after graduation and needs assistance securing a meaningful career. In that case, PCJCC team member Natalie Washington, career transition specialist, is prepared to provide the necessary bridge required for a seamless transition.
Suppose students graduate and decide to further their training at the college level. In that case, PCJCC team member Corey Givens, advance training coordinator, is prepared to help guide students towards potential housing options, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities, along with advising them of the best path towards obtaining additional educational advancement.
There are currently seven staff members representing four of the nine sororities and fraternities within the Divine Nine. Whether the dorms run efficiently or community partners and businesses are well-engaged with activities on campus, the D-9 representation is present.
What makes their presence even more valuable is many of the principles the PCJCC stands for align with several of the pillars associated with the missions of the D-9. Whether its service to all mankind, providing assistance and support through established programs, or cultivating scholarships that lead to pursuits in higher learning, one thing is clear: the PCJCC team is providing many of the essential skills, training, and support needed to make sure their students are well prepared for tomorrow’s careers.