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LettersToTheEditor-West Knox Utility District pairs with Schooled for Success

Dear Editor:

On May 26, 2004 West Knox Utility District joined Knox County’s School system’s “Schooled For Success” program. West Knox Utility District hosted students who participated in daily utility office activities, toured water and wastewater facilities and were encouraged to participate in ideas, etc.

By “Shadowing” selected employees of the Utility, the program helped students identify the many career interests available in the water industry, observe the routine of employees and learn about skills needed for employment.

The “Schooled For Success” program was established to offer Knox County School’s eight grade students an opportunity to prepare for their futures. Depending on their individual interests, each year students are placed for two days in over 55 businesses in the Knox County area including radio and television stations, hospitals, police and fire departments, offices, etc. The goal is to equip students to be better prepared for life and work by strengthening the connection between work and school, enabling students to begin identifying career goals and to provide an opportunity for a real work experience.

The students were able to develop communication skills and strengthen the connection between school and future successes by their interaction with the utility. Utility employees were able to take the opportunity to share the positive aspects of work, explain and demonstrate skills needed as well as invest in the students current and future career path.

Students wrote of their experience:

“...its amazing to me how much you have to do just so you can drink water...”

“...we toured the water and wastewater facility. The process each used was much more complicated and exact than one might think. Many precautions are taken to protect the environment and meet the required guidelines.”

“Its surprising how volumes of phone calls, mail and records it takes to run a utility business. There are a wide variety of jobs ... many people pulling their weight are needed to meet and exceed the needs of the consumer.”

“The hospitality was superb and our hostesses were extremely helpful and fun! They treated us to exceptional lunches and made our internship quite enjoyable.”

Plans are already underway for WKUD to participate again in 2005!


Beth Skeen

West Knox Utility District

O’Dowd to participate in JrNYLC

Dear Editor,

My name is Audrey O’Dowd. I am 12 years old and will be in the seventh grade at West Valley Middle School in the fall.

(I am currently) involved with an exciting summer program called JrNYLC, part of the Congressional Youth Leadership Council. I am very grateful to say that a student council advisor at West Valley, Dianna Glandon, nominated me for JrNYLC because of my leadership skills and commitment to academic excellence.

I thought I would tell you just a little more about myself.

In addition to being a seventh-grade student council representative in the fall, I am the Service Projects Committee chairperson. This past school year, we gathered around 5,000 books for local inner-city schools. Recently, we raised $2,225 for eighth-grade teacher Scotty Hicks, who just began his service in Iraq. In addition, I play AYSO soccer each school year, have been a Girl Scout and have volunteered for the Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, Ijams Nature Center, Chocolate Fest and Pellissippi State’s Breakfast with Santa program. I love riding horses and just having fun with my friends.

My long-term goals are to continue student council involvement in middle school and high school and hopefully get a scholarship to college based on my leadership and academic skills. However, learning how to be the best leader I can be for my community is my immediate goal. This is what JrNYLC is about.

I think that leadership at home starts with developing good moral character and supporting community events by showing up and being involved. I feel lucky to live in a place like Knoxville with so many opportunities for community involvement.


Audrey Grace O’Dowd


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