DeKalb ICE Honors Student of the Month

posted Dec 4, 2013, 8:15 AM by webmaster district   [ updated Dec 4, 2013, 8:18 AM ]

DeKalb High School ICE student of the month Patsy DePew works at Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings in Auburn. 

WATERLOO — Patsy DePew has been selected as the ICE Student of the Month at DeKalb High School. 

The Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education program aims to prepare students to enter the work force through class participation as well as on-the-job training. Class time includes discussions on what employers expect from employees, as well as what students can expect from their employers.

Students receive training on job search strategies as well as career research. The role of health, attendance and safety in the workforce is emphasized. Skills of communication, math and computer literacy and personal finance are also focuses of the class.

In the on-the-job ICE training, local businesses, professional areas and industries work together to provide educational workplaces.

Students attend a one-hour class and three hours of on-the-job training each day in the ICE program. It is designed to create a positive working environment between the community and DeKalb High School.

This month’s honored student tells her ICE story in her own words:

My name is Patsy DePew, and I am a senior at DeKalb High School. I currently participate in the ICE program at the high school, which allows me to work for half of the day and attend school for the other half. Being in ICE and having a job has brought a positive meaning to me in many aspects. I have gained more confidence in myself, have better social skills and learned more what it is like to be in the workforce. These aspects and much more have taught me experiences which I can take with me and use them as I go on in my life.

The business I am currently working for is Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings in Auburn. Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakenings is a friendly, great atmospheric coffee shop. The coffee shop is located on Ninth Street, right across the street from Martha’s Popcorn. My job is a barista — I make and craft drinks such as coffee, smoothies, variety types of drinks with coffee (espresso) in them, etc. I also take orders and prepare foods such as pastries and lunch items. The biggest part of working there is interacting with the customers — gaining their trust and friendship and, of course, with something to drink.

Before joining the ICE program and having a job, my life was a bit different. My dad passed away in May of 2012, and I went to live with my grandparents because of certain circumstances. Junior year went along and it was time to sign up for senior year. I had enough credits to graduate, but technically I still needed to finish up English 12 and government and economics. My grandpa and several friends told me to sign up for the ICE program, because they knew I would be great in the program. I signed up for the program, and I later got a follow-up with Mr. (Jon) Everingham (the instructor), saying I was one of the top candidates for the program.

Ever since being in the program, I have learned so much about work life and about myself. I have learned about time and money management while being a part of the program. I have learned skills that I could use throughout my lifetime. I have learned that I am a stronger person than I thought I was. I am not shy to speak in front of strangers or big crowds, nor am I afraid to express who I am. Work, school (taking a college class) and extracurricular activities such as marching band have got me to work hard on time management and being punctual. Earning money on my job has taught me to spend and save my money wisely — what is a want and a need, is it worth the money you earned? All of these skills and experiences I have gained from ICE will be used as useful tools as I go on with my life.

Without the energies of great people coming together to do something great, neither the ICE program nor me being part of the program would be possible. Mr. Everingham, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your program and thank you for the advice and help you have given so far. Jeremiah Otis, thank you for allowing me to be one of your employees, part of the team, and taking part with the ICE program for DeKalb, we are all greatly appreciative of it. Karen Roark, Sue Randa and my other family members, friends, and teachers at DeKalb (you all know who you are), thank you all for what you do for me and support me with everything I do. I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of all of you. You all have impacted me greatly in some shape or form, and I will never forget it. Thank you for all you did and still do for me to this day.

“Cinderella” became one of my nicknames from a regular customer who comes into the coffee shop. The sense of humor and positivity of people is something I will take away from working at Jeremiah’s and being a part of the ICE program. When I would walk into the shop, Jeremiah or whoever was working at the time and all the regular customers would greet me and ask me how I am. Jeremiah’s and ICE gave me a sense of belonging, which made me feel like I was a part of something great. To anyone considering doing the ICE program and has the room to do it on their schedule, I would highly suggest it. ICE will teach you so much about the real world and the skills you will need to succeed in life.

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Article from The Star on Wednesday, December 4, 2013