About 100 Talking Leaves Job Corps students tossed their blue caps into the air Friday, making official their graduation from the program that awards at-risk youth a GED or high school diploma. James Broussard of Sallisaw graduated from the program with a high school diploma and job training certification in culinary arts. "This program has meant a lot to me, because it shows we have second chances," said Broussard, who will work a food and beverage job at Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson. "If we make mistakes in life, Job Corps allows us to work our way up and come out of it and become professionals." Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff and Oklahoma State Rep. Chuck Hoskin Sr. was the keynote speaker. He commended the room full of graduates for completing a program to improve their lives. The ceremony was held in Tahlequah. The Cherokee Nation started the Job Corps program in 1978. It currently serves 197 students between the ages of 16 and 24. The center is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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