“Education is Better Than Silver & Gold”

“Education is Better Than Silver & Gold”

Enoch Daniel Tarr wrote the song, “Education is Better Than Silver & Gold” for UDS.

One of our computer students, Enoch Daniel Tarr, from 2016 wrote a song to promote Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Center. Enoch is 16 years old and wanted to express his gratitude for our programs through music.

Our creative and talented board member, Anna Bertch, created a music video of Enoch’s song with photos of all our courses. Please enjoy listening to this uplifting song that will get you moving with the music.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb_5NsSsR_o[/embedyt]

Your Students are Hard at Work as Graduation Nears

Your Students are Hard at Work as Graduation Nears

“Uniting Distant Stars believes in practical experience. Our students are so happy when they can do their practicals daily. They know graduation is nearing and learning everything they need to know before they receive their diploma. Good Luck students, you have UDS blessing already.” by Kelvin Fomba, USD Co-Founder & Director.

Your cosmetology students continue to apply their knowledge like pedicures to volunteers.

Can you believe it has been a year since our students started their vocational training journey? As you have seen throughout the year, our students are showing up to class daily and working hard to polish their skills in the given they field they embarked on. You made this quality learning opportunity possible by being their Classroom Hero and supplying the practical learning materials needed for them to successfully complete their course. You have witnessed their commitment and dedication to changing their lives for the better.

Your plumbing students learn how to install a tub and commode in our learning lab. 

Is Spring Time Here?

Is Spring Time Here?

By Crystal Soderberg, Uniting Distant Stars Communication & Volunteer Coordinator

Not quite! However, our current students’ graduation is coming up March 3, which means we are now accepting new students for this spring! Not only do we have information sessions and aptitude tests ready to be scheduled, but we have a tremendous deal going on for tuition as well. Uniting Distant Stars is offering a 50% discount on tuition for students until we reach our goal of 300 students enrolled.

Co-Founder Kelvin Fomba addressing the new student recruits for our 2018 courses.

One of our main goals is to make our courses affordable while also providing as much money as possible towards costs such as teacher’s stipends, student study guides, and general operations. A portion goes back to the students with their uniforms and ID cards. Also, our students are driven to learn by investing in their education. The course costs are as follows:
  1. $200 ($100 with 50% scholarship) for 12-month programs: Auto Mechanics, Electricity, Masonry, and Plumbing.
  2. $150 ($75 with 50% scholarship) for 9-month programs: Catering, Computers, Cosmetology, Hotel Management, Interior Event Design, and Tailoring.

UDS Team on Radio Talk Show to Recruit Students. Left to right: Roseline, Godfrey & Kelvin (left photo) and Roseline & Godfrey (right photo).

UDS has come a long way from holding classes out of our co-founder, Kelvin Fomba’s home and hopes to continue to grow our graduating classes each class period in our new Training Center. Previous graduates have been able to provide for their families by running printing and copying services, repairing and servicing cars or generators, working for local tailors or working side jobs to do nails and hair for the community.

If you or someone you know may be interested in registering for classes or supporting these youth in pursuing an education please reach out to [email protected]. Classes are anticipated to begin the end of March or Beginning of April! Other ways to spread the news are by following us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Nurturing Hope

Nurturing Hope

Once a year a day is set aside to honor the Mothers in our lives. There is a special quality often associated with mothers in how they care for their young children. You possess this special quality through your unyielding support of children and youth in Liberia. You are Nurturing Hope with each and every generous gift you have made to help students learn new knowledge and skills in our vocational training center. 

Thank you for helping this student learn how to bake!
You are the reason students show up each day to class to apply and practice what they are receiving from their teachers. 
Thank you for helping these young men and women become auto mechanics!
Thank you for giving students opportunities to practice their skills!
Your heart can smile knowing that you are bringing significate changes to lives of young Liberians in order to thrive.  
Thank you for inspiring students to harness their creativity!
Thank you for giving students the tools to learn! 
Thank you for your Nurturing Hope and being the difference in the lives of children and youth in Liberia!
Building Skills, Changing Lives

Building Skills, Changing Lives

It has been nearly a month since we started vocational training classes at the Uniting Distant Stars Training Center. We started with eight courses and hope to add two more once we get enough students enrolled. Our students receive a combination of theory and practical application in each course to help them better understand both the “why” and “how” in learning a particular trade. The goal of our program is to connect our students to employers for internships or apprenticeships so they can gain additional experience outside the classroom and showcase their abilities in hiring managers.
Two weeks ago we shared in our post “See What’s Baking at Uniting Distant Stars” what the catering students were learning. Now we like to introduce you to three of our other courses: Auto Mechanics, Computers, and Interior Decorating.
Auto Mechanics Course
 
This is one of our legacy courses that was birthed during the Ebola crisis when young people wanted to learn a skill instead of sitting home. Kelvin Fomba, UDS co-founder and country director, developed this course from his extensive career as an auto mechanic working with different types of engines. This course is 12 months long and will provide ample opportunities for students to work with tools and complete service and repair jobs on vehicles, generators and other machinery. Two of the students are female which we have seen a gradual trend of young women entering this trade. Students who graduate from this course can either start their own business or seek employment from an existing garage. Our 2014/2015 students demonstrated their ability to find work as shared in our post, “Meet UDS Auto Mechanic and Driver’s Ed Graduates“.

 

Auto Mechanics learning about the concepts and terminology for this field.

 

The uniform shirt for Auto Mechanics is blue.

 

Computer Course 
 
Because of your inspiring generosity, we were able to fulfill the wishes of our youth in Liberia by launching this course in 2016. Computer training is a highly sought-after course in Liberia. Young people see that learning how to operate a computer and navigate the internet means an increase in their marketability for future employment. Currently, we have 42 students enrolled in this nine-month course. We offer four classes with morning and afternoon classes that meet either Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. The course is divided into five levels: 1) Introduction to computers and typing, 2) Microsoft Word, 3) Microsoft Excel, 4) Microsoft Power Point & Publisher, and 5) Internet Browsing & Review Previous 4 Levels. Our students will learn how to write curriculum vitae, various letters, create presentations, and set up and use an email account. 

 

Computer students from the Mon, Wed, Fri morning class taking a candid photo with Kelvin Fomba.

 

Our computer students are practicing their typing skills.

Interior Decorating Course

This is one of our newer courses. The demand for people with this skill is high. This nine-month course is similar to Interior Design for homes and businesses but it also entails multifaceted decorations for weddings, birthdays, graduations, and other special events. This course is taught by the same teachers, Mrs. Annie Cooper and Mrs. Sandi Akashi, as catering. Students will learn how to create flower arrangements, coordinate design of colors and themes for homes, businesses, and events, and much more. This is another field that will allow our graduates to create a business or find employment.

 

Students learning how to make flower arrangements.

 

This young woman learned how to crochet this doll dress. She will use this skill to create table coverings.

You, as our committed and generous donor, are giving young Liberians the opportunity to learn marketable skills that will change their lives to the better. Like vocational institutes in the U.S., we offer courses in fields that have a strong market demand, so our students can position themselves for employment and/or entrepreneurship. You should be overjoyed and proud of your service to young Liberians, because it is making a difference!

Thank you for being a highly valued Star Supporter for children & youth in Liberia!