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Students Get a New Outlook on Life through Partners 4 Success

Butler Partners 4 Life
Published: Monday, April 24th, 2017

Butler Community College teaches students life-changing skills.

Stacey Burton, 36, felt alone. She recently lost her mother and brother and was in a rut. That’s when she heard about Partners 4 Success.

“I needed a change,” Burton said. “The struggle was very real. But everyday got better and better.”

Burton is one of nine students who recently graduated from Partners 4 Success, a job skills course sponsored by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, Episcopal Social Services and Butler Community College Adult Education. Each class meets for 200 hours over a six-week span. Students are taught basic math, resume writing, success skills, self-sufficiency and interviewing techniques.

“I was literally at the end of my rope,” Shawn McQueen, 50, a graduate of the program said. “This program encouraged us to be the David against Goliath. We were constantly drilled and groomed for success.”

McQueen has decided to further his education. Next fall, he plans to enroll in Butler and major in journalism.

Samantha Cunningham, the Human Resources Director for Lubrication Engineers, just hired a student from the graduating class of the current six-week course. Cunningham, who volunteers at each Partner 4 Success course, holds mock interviews so the students learn first-hand how to maintain eye contact, dress appropriately and answer interview questions.  She also mentors one student in each six-week session.

“We are changing their perspective on what business is and that they are really valued,” Cunningham said. “The class brings a change in your personal values and your outlook on life.”

Other partner organizations include: Starkey, The Arnold Group, Ketch, Old Town Barber College, Insights-Career Consulting, Martin Interconnect Services, SAFE Project, Center Industries, WIBA and Right Recruiting.

Each student experiences a sense of accomplishment after completing the course. Many learn how to cope with a crisis, as well as manage personal finances and take responsibility. Twanetta Evans, 33, said her four children inspired her to finish the course.

“I am teaching them to never give up,” Evans said.

Students come from different backgrounds. All of the students want to advance their career. Some want to continue to work; others want to head back to school. All of the nine students in the latest class said that this course has taught them to succeed in the workforce.

Butler’s adult education program provides classes designed to help individuals strengthen their educational, technological and workplace skills.  These skills can open the door to new possibilities through opportunities to prepare for and attend college, increased financial security through better employment, and the opportunity to earn a Kansas State High School Diploma.  Please call 316-323-6074 for more information.

“We have watched dozens of our graduates become successful in the workplace,” said Sherry Watkins, Adult Education Director. “By working in this close-knit, supportive setting, our students become well-equipped for succeeding in employment at family sustaining wages.”