Your Student, Kadiatu, Earns $ While Learning a Trade

Your Student, Kadiatu, Earns $ While Learning a Trade

One of the most rewarding aspects of our work is receiving direct feedback from a student. On January 10, 2021, I (Heather Cannon) chatted with Kadiatu M. Swarray on Messenger, and then she called me to share more about her experience at our Vocational Training Center. She started her Cosmetology training in September 2020 and wanted to share her experience below in how you transformed her life.

Uniting Distant Stars (UDS) is a vocational training center that makes you focused and serious. You can’t make it if you are a lazy student. I come to school three times a week. Also, I am a graduate (November 25, 2020) of the African Methodist Episcopal University with a Bachelor of Public Administration (BPA). Since graduation, I have never earned any money on my own. But by being at UDS for 4 months this gone December, I now have earned more than $50 to $60 USD.

Kadiatu’s reply to my question about what she likes about Uniting Distant Stars.

So, UDS is a self-employment area but it can only happen if you are determined. I never in one day knew how to braid hair. But now with the help of UDS, I am learning little by little. My instructor Emmanuel said, “you are your own internship”. He explained that if we find our own clients we can apply our skills as part of our training. He teaches something new every class time, so you want to show up and learn.

Kadiatu’s conversion with me on the phone.

How did you find UDS? “My grandma owns a cook shop and would come to sell food to students at the center. From what she saw, she kept telling me to go to this school and learn computers. I said to my grandma not now because I can focus only on one thing at a time. I can go after graduating from college. So, when I completed my degree last year I enrolled in the Cosmetology Course.”

Kadiatu responding to my follow-up question.

Without a doubt, your investment in students like, Kadiatu, provides the means for self-sufficiency and leadership. In December, she became the student president of her 2020/2021 class and also for her course. Thank you for being her Classroom Hero!

Your Students Complete 4 Weeks of Training

Your Students Complete 4 Weeks of Training

September 22, started a new term for a new group of students. In fact, many of your new students asked to start their practicals during the first week. For instance, the Event Decoration Students started making bangles on the second class day and sold them to other students. Just like that, they are learning a skill while earning some money

Your Event Decoration Students Making Bangles

Additionally, your Cosmetology Students began practicing plaiting hair at the Uniting Distant Stars Salon. In the near future, they will be working with actual people to advance their application of this valuable skill. Your students waste no time when it comes to learning a trade career. 

Your Cosmetology Students Learning How to Plait (Braid) Hair.
Meet Your 2019/2020 Graduates

Meet Your 2019/2020 Graduates

2019/2020 Diploma Covers

On Saturday, August 1, 2020, 60 vocational training graduates arrived to receive their diplomas. Two others showed up that day to check-in and received their diplomas later in the week. Since the schools closed in March, some students left the city to spend time with their families in the interior. So, we could see additional graduates in the coming weeks or months.

During the months of June and July, students came to the center to take a photo in a cap and gown for their diplomas. We took these photos and arranged them their respective courses as shown below. Please join us in congratulating the 2019/2020 graduates in receiving their diplomas! 

Meet your Catering Graduates who made all the delicious treats during the past year. Some interned at Kailando Hotel near our center.
Meet your Computer Graduates who have learned the components, typing, and Microsoft Suite. Graduate with *** took 3 courses and ** took 2 courses.
Meet your Cosmetology Graduates, who have learned how to style hair, give facials, and manicures/pedicures. Graduate with *** took 3 courses.
Meet your Electrician Graduates with our first female, Mayesa, who learned how to work and install electricity along with installing our second phase of solar.
Meet your Hotel Management Graduates, who learned the many different roles from the front desk to housekeeping. Some interned at Kailando Hotel near our center. Graduate with *** took 3 courses and ** took 2 courses.
Meet your Plumbing Graduates who learned how to install pipe and fixtures, and connect the waterline, and your Tailoring Graduate learned how to cut and sew any outfit you would like.

Our heartfelt THANKS for being part of their year-long learning journey! Your kindness and support helped them achieve this important milestone of graduating. 

Your investment in Liberian Youth is paying off

Your investment in Liberian Youth is paying off

As we move into September, your vocational training students continue to progress in their year-long program. Additionally, each course meets three times a week for two-hour sessions and spend over 85% of their on practicals. The students that started late receive extra help from their instructor and fellow students to catch up with their course work.

Also, some of the students started last month after Kelvin Fomba, UDS Co-Founder & Director, offered a partial scholarship to the Bethlehem Baptist School graduates (Deborah’s Alma Mater) during his talk. Furthermore, over half (about 40) took him up on the offer and started their courses in the last two weeks. 

Previously, we shared how a few students enrolled in two courses. Well, one student juggles three courses—computers, cosmetology, and hotel management and volunteered to help the children attending our academy. We applaud, Grace Gweh for going the extra mile in learning and giving back to younger students! 

As you will see in these photos, your investment in young men and women is paying off by giving them valuable skills. They enjoy learning their respective trades and love showcasing their results.

Catering Students

Can you taste these sweet morsels? Your Catering Students, 12 to be exactbaked some delicious dinner rolls and then made pigs in the blanket. As they say in Liberia, “let’s eat!” Your Cosmetology Students practice and practice their hair plaiting (i.e. braiding) skills whether they have volunteers or not. Our school provides heads with hair as a practice tool. The students remained committed and focused on perfecting their craft. 

Your catering students showing their dinner roles & pigs in a blanket.

Cosmetology Students

Your Cosmetology Students practice and practice their hair plaiting (i.e. braiding) skills whether they have volunteers or not. Our school provides heads with hair as a practice tool. The students remained committed and focused on perfecting their craft. 

Your cosmetology students practice plaiting (braiding) hair.

Electrician Students

As we complete the extension of our center. your Electrician Students help with the electrical connections. This course has grown to 25 students with one female. Fortunately, our center’s growth keeps them busy because they are hungry to put their skills to work. 

Your electrician students connecting the wires to power the extension.

Tailoring Students

Your Tailoring Students proudly wear shirts they made in class. Don’t you love this colorful fabric? The students first must master peddling a treadle machine, then they move into making clothes, uniforms, and so much more.

Your tailoring students modeling the shirts they made.

If you are planning to visit the center in the next six to eight months,you can taste some food from your catering students, get measured for a new outfit made from your tailoring students, enjoy a manicure/pedicure or hairstyle from your cosmetology students, or enjoy watching your other students demonstrate what they learned. Thank you for investing in these eager and hard-working students! 

Updates on Scholarship & Cosmetology Students

Updates on Scholarship & Cosmetology Students

Can you believe that a new school year is about to begin? In fact, it has already started in some states like Oklahoma. For Liberia, the students return to school in early September. Our UDS Academy has been receiving many families interested in enrolling their students. 

Recently, we received all the grade sheets from our 17 academic scholarship students. One graduated and the other 16 were promoted to next grade with two in the 12th grade. Since 2011, we have partnered with a few schools to offer scholarships to deserving students who needed financial assistance. Thank you to all the sponsors who support our young students! 

Before we go into our featured article, we want to share some of the latest photos for our Cosmetology students. Their training includes plaiting (braiding) hair, manicures, and pedicures. They enjoy the opportunity to do their practicals during each class period. One of our hotel management graduates, Linda Foeday enrolled in this course to learn another trade. She also shared these photos. 

Your students learning how to plait (braid) hair.