Lee summer camps keep kids engaged

Registration is now open for the 2019 Kids at College Summer Camp Program offered by the Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College. The Program offers children ages 5 to 17 an opportunity to meet new friends, discover new interests, and create memories of a lifetime.

Lee College encourages parents to register their child(ren) for any of the hands-on, educational, creative, or athletic camps offered in both Baytown and Liberty, TX. Camps will run June-August and include creative arts and crafts, cooking, gaming, sports, technology, special interests, and more.

“The 2019 Kids at College Summer Camp Program is a wonderful opportunity to keep children active and engaged,” said Dr. Angela Oriano, Vice President of Workforce & Community Development. “Each camp is an adventure that offers personal growth for our community’s youth. Our campers walk away with new skills, increased confidence, and more independence that stay with them throughout their lives.”

Parents and guardians can view the complete list of course offerings through the 2019 Summer Camp Guide available online at www.lee.edu/kids or in-office at 909 Decker Drive, Baytown. The Guide provides parents with all the information they need to decide on a summer camp including descriptions, camp dates/times, locations, and pricing. Camps vary in dates, start/end times, and prices to allow parents to find a camp that fits their schedule and budget, along with their child’s interest.

New this year to the Baytown location includes Extended Care — a supervised childcare program for students enrolled in a morning and/or afternoon Kids at College Summer Camp. Extended Care is available Mon.-Fri., June 3-Aug.2, for the low cost of $25 per week or $175 for the entire summer (excluding the week of July 1-5, 2019). Parents can take advantage of child drop-off 8-9 a.m., supervised lunch 12-1 p.m. (child provides own lunch), and child pick-up 4-5 p.m.

In addition, the Center for Workforce and Community Development will offer Rebel Date Night June 22 and July 20. Parents may drop off and pick up their children (ages 5+) anytime between 5-10 p.m. for just $26 per child. Students will enjoy a fun evening of movies, games, and crafts while parents enjoy their own fun night out! Registration is required.

For more information or to register your child for a summer camp, visit the Kids at College website at www.lee.edu/kids or call 281.425.6311.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Industrial Craft program builds lives as well as industry

KeyesFor James Keyes, 30, applying for the Industrial Craft Training Program through Lee College’s Center for Workforce and Community Development was a significant step toward turning his life around. Born in Channelview, Keyes grew up alongside his older sister and was no stranger to financial challenges. His mother was a single parent who lived paycheck to paycheck to support the family throughout his younger years. “She did everything she could to keep food on the table and teach us right from wrong,” Keyes recalls about his mother, “she always supported me through my rough times. She never turned her back on me.”

Growing up, Keyes remembered both parents working long hours to financially support the family. Unfortunately, this provided Keyes with the chance to develop a troubled path. “While my mom was gone working turnarounds, I wouldn’t stay home,” Keyes admits, “I’d go out with friends and play in the streets.” His father worked as a police officer to support his own wife and step children in addition to helping support Keyes, his sister, and his mother. “I saw him every other weekend and any chance he could,” Keyes said.

By the age of 15, Keyes was introduced to drugs and would battle a drug addiction for years to come. “I dug myself into a hole,” he admitted. Keyes dropped out of high school during his junior year after becoming a father to two sons. “I got a job sacking groceries to provide for my family,” he said. His battle with drug addiction continued to spiral downward and ultimately lead to his arrest. “I believe that moment saved my life,” he said. After being arrested, and finding out that he was about to be a father to a baby girl, Keyes decided it was time to change his life.

Keyes moved from Baytown to Webster after attending a state rehabilitation Program. “I completed the rehabilitation program and never looked back,” he said. “Over the years, I’ve had to hustle. I’ve had to prove myself and dig myself out of this hole.” Keyes started working as an electrical apprentice and was looking to advance his skills in the field when he heard about the Industrial Craft Training Program. “My previous record created some setbacks, but this was a great way to get some more experience and good referrals,” Keyes said.

Just four days before Keyes completed the last class, he was offered a job as a journeyman for JAM Electrical. “The course gave me the skills to get this job and the pay raise has been a significant improvement for my finances. I’m able to support my family and I’m a much better person now,” Keyes said. “I love spending time with my family, and teaching my kids how to play sports. I strive to be a positive influence on my sons and my daughter.”

For the first time this holiday season, Keyes had the opportunity to shower his children with all the gifts on their Christmas lists—something he never had the chance to do before. “I’m proud that I’m going to be around my whole family this Christmas and be praised for everything I’ve accomplished.”

Learn more about the Industrial Craft Training opportunities at www.lee.edu/workforce.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Lee aims to keep kids active and engaged this summer

BAYTOWN, TX – The Center for Workforce and Community Development at Lee College is offering summer camp programs to give kids and teens an active, engaged, and healthy summer. The Kids at College Summer Camp Program offers children ages 5-17 an opportunity to meet new friends, discover new interests, and create memories for a lifetime.

Lee College encourages parents to register their children for any of the hands-on, educational, creative, or athletic camps offered in both Baytown and Liberty, Texas. Camps offered will include creative/art courses, career exploration, brain training, teen courses, sports, and more.

“The 2018 Kids at College Summer Camp Program is a wonderful opportunity for children to keep their bodies and minds active,” said Angela Oriano, Ph.D., Vice President Workforce & Corporate Partnerships. “Each camp is an adventure that offers personal growth for our community’s youth. Our campers walk away with new skills, increased confidence, and more independence that stay with them throughout their lives.”

The 2018 Summer Camp Guide is now updated with new camps and available online for viewing at www.lee.edu/kids. The guide provides parents with all the information they need to decide on a summer camp, including descriptions, camp dates/times, locations, and pricing. Camps vary in dates, start/end times, and prices, to allow parents to find a camp that fits their schedule and budget, along with their child’s interests.

Some popular camps from last year scheduled to return for 2018 include Art Extreme Camp, Culinary Arts, Creative Writing, Fun and Funky Clay Creations, Volleyball, and Basketball. Many new camps will be available including Advanced 3D Video Game, Healthy Me, Little Code-a-Pillar, Virtual Reality: The Future is now, and Vision Board Fun, just to name a few. New this year to the Baytown location is Camp Z, a zombie-inspired kids’ camp complete with science experiments, creative writing, arts and crafts, a scavenger hunt, a live-action zombie hunt, and more.

For more information or to register your child for a summer camp, visit the Kids at College website at www.lee.edu/kids or call 281.425.6311.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

EnergyVenture Camp Invites First-Time Students to Apply for Scholarships

BAYTOWN, TX – The Center for Workforce and Community Development’s Kids at College program at Lee College is excited to invite first-time students to apply for a scholarship to this summer’s EnergyVenture Camp. With the help of industry partner, ExxonMobil, full scholarships are available to qualified students covering all fess associated with camp activities.

EnergyVenture is an intensive 36-hour week-long day Kids at College Summer Camp designed to help students ages 12-14 years old develop their focus on the energy industry and the career opportunities it holds. The program was developed for young students to learn through fun, hands-on STEM experiments and activities in science and computer labs, in hopes to increase awareness of the good paying, high skill jobs available in the industry.

EnergyVenture Camp will run June 4-8, and July 9-13, Mon.-Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Fri., 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. To apply for a scholarship, parents or guardians must bring their child’s Texas School ID, School Report Card, or Progress Report to 909 Decker Dr., Baytown, TX, 77520. Students must be 12 years of age on or before the first day of camp.

“EnergyVenture camp is a gem in our community,” said Angela Oriano, Ph.D., Vice President Workforce & Corporate Partnerships. “The camp helps to foster students along a career path to the Gulf Coast’s energy industry.”

For more information about EnergyVenture camp, visit the Kids at College website at www.lee.edu/kids or call 281.425.6311.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Foundation to award $590K in scholarships for 2017-18

Adrian Touchstone speaks at a lectern.
Lee College alumnus Adrian Touchstone shares with guests at the 32nd annual Lee College Foundation Gala how receiving a scholarship from the foundation helped him complete his associate degree and find greater meaning and purpose in a life once characterized by drug addiction, prison stints and wrongheaded thinking. The foundation announced that proceeds from the gala and generous contributions from donors will allow $590,000 in student scholarships to be awarded for the 2017-18 academic year.
BAYTOWN, TX — As hundreds of friends and supporters bid on auction items, enjoyed dinner and listened to stories of student success at the 32nd annual Lee College Foundation Gala last weekend, the foundation announced that proceeds from the fundraising event and contributions from donors will allow $590,000 in scholarships to be awarded to students this academic year.

The awards — $440,000 in endowed scholarships and $150,000 in technical scholarships — will be available to all Lee College students: those enrolled in courses full-time or part-time, in dual-credit classes where high-school students can earn college credits, in non-credit classes offered by the Center for Workforce and Community Development, and in the Huntsville Center correctional education program.

“The Foundation Board of Directors is always focused on helping students succeed, persist and complete their goals for their education,” said Pam Warford, executive director of Foundation and Resource Development, as she addressed gala underwriters, sponsors and guests. “Thank you for helping us to meet their needs.”

After a 20-year battle with drug addiction that kept him cycling in and out of prison, Lee College alumnus Adrian Touchstone welcomed faith into his life and made the decision to take ownership of his actions. A scholarship from the Lee College Foundation helped open the door to higher education and the chance to continue his transformation into a stronger, wiser and better man.

Now pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Houston Clear Lake, Touchstone maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA while at Lee College and graduated in May 2017 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in drug and alcohol abuse counseling. He hopes to be an inspiration and source of encouragement for others facing challenges similar to those he has conquered.

“There have been times in my life that I have been hopeless. I had a backwards way of thinking. Love isn’t supposed to hurt, but selfishness and entitlement caused me to a hurt a lot of people who did love me,” said Touchstone, who shared his story at the gala and drew a standing ovation.

“Life began to change when I figured out I was the problem,” he said. “I began a journey to seek meaning, and this has all been made possible by your generosity. Without your commitment, countless individuals would not have the support they need to have one of the most meaningful experiences of their lives.”

Like Touchstone, many Lee College students would be unable to complete their chosen program without financial assistance from the foundation. For Samantha McDonnel, a teacher education major and mother of two who also works full-time in the Office of Financial Aid, an award from the foundation allowed her to cover tuition after spending the money she saved for her education to repair damage her home sustained during Hurricane Harvey.

“I am thankful for the foundation and to all of its donors for giving,” McDonnel said. “When you donate, you’re investing in someone. You’re investing in your community. You are bridging the gap between what could be and what will be.”

Lee College Pres. Dr. Dennis Brown echoed that sentiment, telling donors and gala guests that their financial support proved their belief in the college and support of its mission to help students create better and brighter futures through quality higher education.

“We have a great opportunity to help students earn the degree or certificate they need to move forward into their careers with the skills, knowledge and ability to perform in any industry,” Brown said. “It’s not enough to get students into Lee College; we have to get them through Lee College.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Risk Management Institute offers free course on ‘Surviving Violent Encounters’

BAYTOWN, TX — With Americans still reeling from tragic shooting incidents in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas and around the country, the Risk Management Institute at Lee College is offering a free course this month to help community members recognize the signs that lead to a violent encounter and learn what to do to survive.

“Surviving Violent Encounters” will be held from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 30, in the Phyllis Davis Room at the Lee College Center for Workforce and Community Development, located at 909 Decker Drive in Baytown. The class is free to attend and open to the public – particularly employers and employees in the health care, human resources, social services, hotel, retail, education and public safety industries who are at higher risk of being attacked, as well as anyone interested in enhancing their own personal safety. Participants can register online at www.lee.edu/rmi or contact the workforce center for more information at 281.425.6311.

In the “Surviving Violent Encounters” course, students will develop a better understanding of five basic indicators that a violent situation may occur to give them a tactical advantage if necessary. The instructor will use real-life scenario practice drills, team activities, role playing, video vignettes and guided discovery to help students assess their own preparedness and identify and utilize strategies for surviving violent encounters. Students will be able to take the skills they learn and immediately apply them in the workplace, community and home.

Funded through a donation from Texas Mutual Insurance Co., the Risk Management Institute was created to offer free seminars, workshops and training classes on health and safety for employers, employees, seniors and the general public. The institute’s tagline, “You are priceless. Safety knowledge is free,” reflects its goal of providing free safety education for the Baytown area and surrounding communities.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

After Harvey postponement, Lee College Foundation ready to host 32nd annual gala

BAYTOWN, TX — After postponing its annual gala in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and making a generous donation to the Lee College Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to help hundreds of students recover from the storm, the Lee College Foundation is finally ready to host its premiere event that raises much-needed funds for scholarships and other forms of student support.

The 32nd annual Lee College Foundation Gala will be held this Friday, Nov. 10, at Sylvan Beach Pavilion. The gala is highly anticipated each year by Lee College supporters and individual and corporate donors throughout the community, who provide critical financial help to students pursuing a college education while enjoying an evening of dinner and entertainment.

“Many of our students get started on their education but run into financial obstacles that take them off course,” said Pam Warford, executive director of Foundation and Resource Development. “Donations to the foundation enable them to persist in their classes until they earn their degree or certificate. It’s really about persistence.”

With nearly 400 guests in attendance and $175,000 raised, the 31st annual Foundation Gala held last year was an overwhelming success. Despite the difficulties experienced by those hit hardest by Harvey, the Foundation Board of Directors is hopeful this year’s gala will again be one for the record books.

“Our foundation, from the generous support of our gala, creates opportunities for students who may not otherwise have them,” said Jennifer Marcontell, the newly elected chairwoman of the board.

Under the board’s leadership, the foundation awarded more than $470,000 in the 2016-17 academic year to full-time and part-time students, high school students earning college credit in dual-enrollment classes, offenders in the Lee College Huntsville Center correctional education program, and students taking non-credit classes through the Center for Workforce and Community Development. In addition, the foundation maintains a Student Success Fund to help students facing extraordinary circumstances pay for college-related expenses.

“We expect some effects from the recent storm setback, but we know that our patrons look forward to this event each year and will continue to support our efforts as they can,” Marcontell said. “We all benefit when our students succeed.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.