Butler Community College celebrated those students who earned their Kansas Work Ready! certificates, as well as those inducted in the the National Adult Education Honor Society during a ceremony Saturday morning.
"We cannot tell you how proud we are of you," said President Jackie Vietti. "The limelight today needs to be on you and what you accomplished."
She shared a story about a boy who just wanted to be possible.
"Your work today is opening a whole new world of possibilities," she said.
Chris Stanyer, with Workforce Centers of South Central Kansas, was the featured speaker for the event. He said they are a non-profit organization that helps people try to find a job.
"We're a resource to keep in your back pocket," he said. "We are there to give options."
He went on to talk about some of the things they see on a daily basis from the perspective of an employer.
"What we hear the most from all of our employers is 'you're doing a great job in training, but what we're looking for also is the right attitude,'" he said. "I will take it a step further and translate attitude into another word, a word I think is very important – excellence."
He said he had read a book "Fred Factor." Fred is a postman who has two choices – to come to work and do his job then go home or be the best postman he can be. He chose to be the best he could and got to know everyone on his route.
"Over the years, Fred continued to impress everyone on his block by getting to know them and taking that one extra step, that's excellence," Stanyer said.
He said they need to look at how they can make a job theirs and make it something they care about.
He encouraged students to look at how they can make a difference even if they are completely swamped or completely bored. They also need to try to have fun.
"The best way to be excellent is to be yourself," he continued. "Everybody has something special."
One word that drives Stanyer crazy is just. He will hear people describe their jobs as "just" doing this or that.
"What I find in my experience is we think things that come easy to us come easy to everyone else, but it's not true," he said. "It's very important to understand your skills are your own. It's also called striving for excellence.
"It's very easy to tell ourselves that's a high goal. What if I'm not good enough? We all strive to be excellent."
Page 2 of 2 - He said the bad days are what make a person better.
"The willingness to take a step forward into the unknown, it's scary," he said. "It looks dark, but you have a support group. You guys have already made the first step. You're already on the right path. Let us help you. Just lay one brick every single day. Pretty soon looking back you realize you built something."
Three students were presented with certificates for being nominated for the National Adult Education Honor Society, which is based on dependable attendance, cooperative attitude, work ethic and good character. They were Brenda Graham, Jared Ruyle and Josh Ruyle. Not present was Shannon Finey.
Several students also had earned WorkReady! certificates, although they were not present. They were Brenda Alexander, Kathryn Criss, Diel Garet, LaFond Becca, Marcy Love, Candace Moya, Brandon Myles, Kevin Myles, Tien Phan, Cody Rogers, Calvin Schild, Kristen Smith, Katlyn Shaft, Tiffiany Thomas and Sabrina Valdovinas.
The certificate measures core skills using assessments that measure core skills in applied mathematics, reading for information and locating information. It verifies a person's skills and work readiness skill level to employers.