Eighth Student Mentored!

Precious Pettaway became the eighth (8th) student that the HUD Las Vegas office staff has mentored from the Summer Business Institute. The Institute is sponsored by a partnership of the Clark County Government and over 70 Southern Nevada Businesses.

The Las Vegas Field Office Director, Kenneth J. LoBene states, "It's so great again to open HUD for the eighth year, partnering up to provide opportunity to attract young adults into public sector and for the youth to understand the importance of giving back to their neighborhoods and communities." Ms. Pettaway is assigned to the Office of Field Policy Management (FPM). She directly works for the Director.

Precious has just completed her senior year at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy. She was promoted to her senior year after completing her sophomore year. She has maintained a steady GPA of 3.0 and above her entire three years of high school. In the fall of 2009 Precious will attend Texas Southern University. She intends on getting a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. The director believes, "That Precious will work for the federal government one day in her future."

She is a four year participant in the Nevada Partners Youth Program. This is her first year with the Clark County Summer Business Institute. She was a former member of Andre Agassi Track and Field Team and a member of the Varsity Basketball.

[Photo 2: Shlynn McKinney, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Precious Pettaway]
Left to right: Shlynn McKinney, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Precious Pettaway

Precious lives with her mother and five siblings. Her mother has three biological children and four legally adopted children, with a total of seven children. Precious enjoys spending time with her family and helping her mother out with any and everything. Precious is a member of a non-profit organization West Las Vegas Citizens for Hope. She volunteers every other Saturday by helping feed and clothe the homeless. She also helps a friend of the family out on Saturdays at her beauty salon. She loved having the chance to work with the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

While Precious has been working directly for the Field Office Director, she has met with many new people and opportunities. She and her co-worker Shlynn (seventh year student) worked on various projects for the City of Las Vegas Youth Council and the Nevada Workforce Investment Board. Precious' favorite project so far was "High School Failure."

The Field Office Director asked Precious to work with Shylnn on a project called "High School Failure." They surveyed kids in Las Vegas to ask them why are so many kids dropping out of high school. Precious and Shylnn did a power point presentation together. In that they stated all the reasons that they found from kids had as to why kids didn't finish high school.

Our seventh year student, Shlynn McKinney, requested Clark County Summer Business Institute reassign her back to the HUD office until her departure for college. Shlynn was asked why she wanted to come back to the Las Vegas HUD office. Quote: "I am returning to HUD because I was welcomed to a family oriented working environment. The employees are all wonderful people who have great words of wisdom and sound advice to offer. I am encouraged to be creative and use my experiences to help out in the office in any way I can. Because Mr. LoBene, the Field Office Director has such a great passion for youth and Mr. Yergeau is so eager to guide us; we have the opportunity to voice our opinions about issues facing the young people of today's society and offer a solution from our point of view. I will be attending Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, this fall, majoring Business. I have received numerous scholarships including the Trustee Club Scholarship, the Summer Business Institute Scholarship, the NV Energy Scholarship, the National Baptist Congress Scholarship, and a Las Vegas Black Community Organization Network (BCON) Scholarship, totaling in the amount of $75,500. I know that this was not achieved by me alone, but by the grace of GOD and the help and guidance from the many people in my life that love me dearly. "Both Precious and Shlynn were supervised by the Field Office Director, Kenneth J. LoBene and mentored by Bernie C. Yergeau, Field Operations Analyst. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, took the time on his visit to the Las Vegas Office, on July 1, 2009, and met with these two fine students.

Besides having 2 students from the Summer Business Institute, the office also received three (3) more students under the Victory Neighborhood Services Center: The New Opportunities for Well-Being (NOW) Summer Youth Employment Program. This Program was authorized by the State of Nevada, Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) for a Summer Youth Employment Program.

[Photo 3: Brandon Ross, Alisha Brooks, Ely Galdamez]
Left to right: Brandon Ross, Alisha Brooks, Ely Galdamez

Each of these students is in high school. They are beginning their Senior Year in High School and will be graduates of the 2010 class.

Alisha Brooks is attending Legacy High School and she is planning on going to college to be a pediatrician. She was mentored by Lorraine Griscavage-Frisbee, Single Family Housing Specialist.

Ely Galdamez goes to Valley High School and his plans are to attend college and become a General Family Doctor. His mentor was Frank Castro, Supervisor, Multifamily Housing Management.

Brandon Ross is presently attending Cheyenne High School. Upon graduation is planning on going to the Las Vegas Police Academy to become an officer of the law. His mentor was Roy Porter, Community Planning and Development (CPD).

Content Archived: August 18, 2011