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Apex & Atlantic/Cape May County Cohort, in Collaboration with Atlantic Cape, Graduate 19 Students During Ceremony

06/13/2023 | Media Contact: David Zuba, Public Relations Manager and Copywriter | (609) 343-4933
Apex cohort graduate receives her certificate during graduation ceremony

ATLANTIC CITY — It was a momentous occasion to celebrate as 19 students, in a collaboration with Atlantic Cape Community College, graduated from the Atlantic and Cape May County Probation Division, and Apex Solutions Group’s 10-week, train-to-hire Certified Associate Project Management Cohort on May 25 during a ceremony at Stockton University’s Atlantic City campus.

Apex cohort graduates gather for a group photo after the graduation ceremonyChief Probation Officer/Probation Division Manager for Vicinage 1 in Atlantic and Cape May Counties Ms. Sharnett Clark congratulated and challenged her newly-minted graduates to strive for success.

“The famous African American poet, Langston Hughes once said, ‘When a man starts out to build the world, he starts first with himself.’ What are you rising, leading and inspiring to as you face new horizons after completing this course?” Clark asked the graduates. “I challenge you to be champions, cut down the net and be a winner above adversity. Face changes gracefully and have the emotional intelligence to reinforce a positive mindset through self-awareness and self-regulation.”

Held at Atlantic Cape’s Charles D. Worthington Atlantic City campus, the Project Management Cohort was funded through the New Jersey Judiciary Opportunities to Build Success (NJ JOBS) Program, which helps connect private companies and nonprofit organizations with successful drug court and probation clients who have shown the desire to rebuild their lives, work and make a difference in their communities.

Retired NJ Superior Court Judge Honorable Mark H. Sandson speaks to the graduatesThe Honorable Mark H. Sandson, a retired New Jersey Superior Court Judge, spoke to the importance and credibility of the program.

“There is nothing in any of the other courthouses in New Jersey as important as what we are doing here today,” Sandson stated to the graduates in attendance. “You are a new person, recreated…a job is the only social program that works.”

The students were originally selected to take part in the cohort out of more than 50 applicants. To qualify, participants had to be under active probation supervision in drug court, Intensive Supervision Program or general community supervision while cooperating with probation supervision.

The critical life skills and career development training the students received was provided free, while they also earned a $100 weekly stipend from the JOBS program as they successfully advanced through the course. The cohort covered topics from communications, teamwork and resume writing to computer literacy, leadership and project management.

“During this 10-week journey we always believed in you, but most importantly, you believed in yourselves,” Assignment Judge for Vicinage I in Atlantic and Cape May Counties the Honorable Michael Blee said in a recorded message displayed on multiple video screens. “Go forth and make the world proud.”

Atlantic Cape President Dr. Barbara Gaba speaks to the graduates during the ceremonyAtlantic Cape President Dr. Barbara Gaba commended the graduates for their drive and determination to succeed.

“To the graduating class, congratulations, you did it! I cannot overstate how proud I am of each and every one of you for persevering through the challenges that brought you here today,” Gaba said. “The completion of this program recognizes your hard work, dedication and passion to move forward in your life; a move that will uplift you and your family. These qualities are essential to your success in both your life and career aspirations, and we are all confident that you will achieve your goals.”

Apex Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Jemal Beale stressed to the graduates the importance of keeping that positive momentum moving forward.

“At Apex we believe in hard work, smart work and your network. Look around, this is your new network. You need to leverage this network. You did the work, now leverage it. Use your superpowers for good and you will do amazing things,” Beale said.

Graduate Amanda Perkins speaks to her fellow graduates and guests in attendanceGraduate Amanda Perkins summed up her joy and gratitude.

“Probation saved my life. Apex gave me my life back.”

Graduate Marcus Bridgers gave words of advice to his fellow graduates.

“Inspire others who may be losing hope.”

The Apex Project Management Cohort graduates are: Brandon Bennett; Marcus Bridgers, CAPM; Djza Chase, CAPM; Lauren Connolly; Amber Hurley, CAPM; Natalie Latouche, CAPM; Hannah Loper, CAPM; Russell Mariano, CAPM; Steven Marshall, CAPM; Ernest McCarraher, CAPM; Gerry Minguzzi, CAPM; Daniel Morales-Valencia, CAPM; Amanda Perkins, CAPM; Laura Rowan, CAPM; Aaliyah Saxon; Charles Shurig, CAPM; Jamar Waddell; Anthony White, CAPM; and Rebecca Wilson, CAPM.

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About Atlantic Cape Community College

Atlantic Cape is a comprehensive two-year community college serving the residents of Atlantic and Cape May counties. The college offers over 40 career, transfer and workforce development programs to more than 8,000 students annually at three campuses in New Jersey: Atlantic City, Cape May Court House and Mays Landing.