Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Update

Uniting Distant Stars Vocational Training Update

In August, you celebrated the third group of vocational training graduates Then, we restarted recruiting for the fourth cohort. Now, we hope to start classes this month.

Last month, Kelvin Fomba (Co-Founder & Director) went on the air. He also brought two alumni who work with UDS. First, Boakai Dillion, 2017/2018 graduate, works as the electrician Instructor. Second, Myrtle Stoe (2018/2019) graduate, works as the student registrar. Without a doubt, their testimonials drew in potential students.

Left to right, Kelvin Fomba, Boakai Dillon, and Myrtle Stoe.

Another exciting development deals with scholarships. One of our sustaining donors provided a $1,500 scholarship. He asked that we recruit 20 women in auto mechanics, electrician, and plumbing. Furthermore, his scholarships reduce their tuition by half. What a wonderful opportunity!

Additionally, a local Liberian organization registered five students and paid their full tuition. They plan to register more before the next term starts. We hope this leads to a lasting partnership.

Indeed, 2020 gave us many challenges but with all your support we continue forward. Thank you for your generous support!

Your Students Enthusiastically Learn Skills

Your Students Enthusiastically Learn Skills

The current student body of the UDS Vocational Training Center (UDSVTC) completed their third month in July. Their enthusiasm to learn makes you smile. Furthermore, their ability to encourage their fellow students when they are feeling frustrated touches your heart. In fact, this group of students is unique compared to the previous two cohorts. They created a chat room on Messenger to promote unity and share ideas out of the classroom. Your students’ hunger for learning is 24/7.

Your catering students made delicious pancakes topped with natural honey. Frank Tugbeh, UDS Catering Instructor posted these photos in our Facebook group and instantly your tastebuds start watering. What makes these pancakes even sweeter? The joy of success expressed in the beautiful smiles of our students. 

Your students proudly displaying their pancakes topped with natural honey.

Your electrician students cannot get enough practical training because they are asking for more. In addition to their eagerness, this class has grown to over 20 students. Their instructor, Boakai Dillion shared these photos on his Facebook page as they continue to learn how to work with electricity. As you can see, these dedicated and focused students practice their skills. 

Your electrician students are dedicated to learning this important trade that lights the world.

As we close this post, we hope more of our instructors and students continue to share photos and stories from their experiences at UDSVTC, so we can pass on to you. 

Graduation & Student Recruitment Update

Graduation & Student Recruitment Update

Our soon-to-be graduates called a general meeting on Wednesday, March 20, to ask for their commencement ceremony to be rescheduled from March 31 to April 13. The reason for this change is about graduation fees. They have sponsors to help them, but they receive their salaries at the end of the month. The students worked hard during their year-long program to reach this milestone, and their graduation is important to them.

Meanwhile, our team continues to recruit students for the next one-year term. The first group starts orientation on Monday 25. The first two weeks prepare the students for a successful year. First, they receive a tour of the center to know the location of their classroom or learning lab. Next, they meet with the instructors to determine the class days and hours. We found that having the instructors and students determine their schedules together ensures a much higher attendance rate compared to other institutions. 

Your continued support opened the door for these new students to learn marketable skills at our vocational training center. All of UDS truly appreciates your dedication to their education! 

Your generous support gives Liberian Youth an opportunity to better their lives. This photo shows new students taking an aptitude test to determine if they need any assistance with their learning.
Introducing the Uniting Distant Stars Training Center

Introducing the Uniting Distant Stars Training Center

Your tremendous support is giving Uniting Distant Stars the momentum to provide what children and youth want in Liberia! You gave us the strength to renovate & move into a new building this year, to better accommodate young Liberians seeking our services in academic support, vocational training, and youth leadership development. And, now you have helped us reach a new milestone: We are an official training center in Liberia!

Uniting Distant Stars Permit to Operate Professional/Technical Institute in Liberia.
This distinction by Liberia’s Ministry of Education gives us the opportunity to offer certificates and diplomas for our training programs. These programs are designed to support our young Liberians seeking help with their education or developing marketable skills. 

You may not realize how much your support inspires our youth & team in Liberia. For the last six months, they have been creating a strategic plan on how to expand our vocational training course offerings. On Saturday, November 19, 2016, they took the first step in putting this plan into action by hitting the streets to recruit vocational training students. 

Young UDS volunteers reaching out to surrounding communities to recruit youth for our vocational training courses.

About 75 volunteers canvassed 20 communities in Congo Town & Sinkor (suburbs of Monrovia) to recruit youth for our first vocational training programs starting in January. They handed out 1,500 flyers to interested youth within these communities. Beginning Monday, young candidates were invited to visit our office and register for one of the available courses. Young men and women will be required to take an assessment test and pay a $75 registration fee to be accepted. The tuition is free for all courses. 

You inspire our youth into action in sharing our programs with people in nearby communities.

Our volunteers were warmly welcomed by each community they visited. Young people and their families were excited to learn about our programs. Our team members have received a steady stream of phone calls from interested candidates answering their questions about registration and training requirements.

Our volunteers talking with people near a market area.
Our youth meeting with a community elder, who is very interested in what we are offering for young people. 

You will continue to receive updates as we move forward with this initiative. Our team in Liberia greatly appreciates your generosity and prayers because this gives them the energy to propel UDS forward.

You bring hope and opportunity to these young people. 

Your gracious support is an investment into our youth’s futures as employees or entrepreneurs. Our Tools For Success: Books, Computers, & Sewing Machines campaign is one way to help children and youth expand their knowledge and learn valuable skills. You can make a tax-deductible gift today and give young Liberian an opportunity to achieve self-sufficiency.

Tools for Success: Books, Computers, Sewing Machines  | GiveMN