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VALLEY FOCUS | Valleywide

Program Offers Help to Potential Dropouts

January 26, 1998|DARRELL SATZMAN

El Proyecto del Barrio is seeking participants for a free program offering educational counseling and vocational training for underprivileged youths between 17 and 21, according to officials with the Arleta-based social service agency.

The new "School-to-Career" program received a $600,000 three-year grant from the city of Los Angeles' Job Training Partnership Act in October, said program director Carol Coller.

The three components of the program are counseling and tutoring for high school seniors in danger of dropping out of school, skills training and job placement, Coller said.

"A lot of times students need to work and they think they need to drop out of school because they are falling behind," Coller said. "We show them that there is an alternative. They can get the support they need to stay in school and also work."

In some cases, El Proyecto will pay participants the minimum wage while they perform internships with local businesses.

The skills-training portion of the program will be conducted in partnership with Pierce College, the North Valley Occupational Center and the United Education Institute of Van Nuys.

Participants will be trained as certified nurse assistants, home health aids and medical assistants, officials said.

Classes for the medical assistant program begins today. The other two programs will start in mid-February.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must live in the San Fernando Valley and come from economically disadvantaged families, Coller said.

For more information, call El Proyecto at (818) 830-7080.

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