The 8th Annual CollegeWorks graduation ceremony for the Class of 2014 will be held at 6pm on Thursday, May 29 in the IT Building Theater on MVCC’s Utica Campus, with a reception to follow. Twelve students will graduate from this Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter program, and 11 will receive “moving up” certificates. Lynda Ford Memorial Scholarships will be awarded to high school students entering CollegeWorks in the fall who have demonstrated strong work ethic and motivation to find competitive employment.

John Robinson will be the guest speaker at this year’s ceremonies. He is a motivational/inspirational speaker, as well as a video executive producer on numerous award winning productions for Public Broadcasting and web. He is the subject of a national documentary shown on Public Broadcasting Stations titled Get Off Your Knees: The John Robinson Story. In the past two years, Robinson has traveled from Australia to the White House discussing the obstacles he has overcome. He has spoken to audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies and to high school students. Robinson speaks to audiences about “Overcoming Obstacles in Life, Businesses or Sales!”

 CollegeWorks is a two-year certificate program of The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter in collaboration with MVCC and is offered at Utica and Rome campuses. The program was developed to improve post high school employment outcomes for people with developmental disabilities, while providing the experience of attending college. Students explore all career options in year one, but focus on one career path in their second year. They may choose to study animal care, child care, clerical, janitorial and various other fields. Homes operated by The Arc in Utica serve as dormitories for men and women enrolled in CollegeWorks. The dorms are located in fairly close proximity to MVCC, which allows for more time on campus for studying and recreation, and enhances the experience of college life.