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11 Graduate From Montclair Church’s Life Skills Academy

By Pastor Paula Olivier

Eleven young people are more prepared for adult life following a summer full of practical lessons they gained through Life Skills Academy, a program conducted by Allegheny East’s First Church of Montclair in Montclair, N.J. The 11 participants were honored during a recent graduation ceremony held at the church.

Through the academy, now in its second year, local students are taught basic life skills, such as how to select an apartment, perform basic automotive care, take a job interview, write a résumé, plan and reach goals, shop at a store and many more useful skills.

The principal of the local high school was happy to recruit many of the participants for this year’s Life Skills Academy. It was a great solution to the fact that recent budget cuts had forced his school to close some of its enrichment programs. Each academy participant received a brand new desktop computer, speaker and printer.

The community has been very supportive of the program, reports Pastor Paula Olivier. During the gradation, one parent from the community wrote the church a check for $100 and volunteered her services for next year’s program, even though the program is fully funded by Columbia Union Conference, Allegheny East Conference and community grants.

“It was a beautiful graduation service,” says Pastor Olivier. “The church made new friends from the community that will forever be grateful for its investment in their youth.”