YES program student gets early Christmas

Published 12:16 am Friday, December 11, 2015

Santa surprised Edy Janes with an early visit on Thursday.

Janes, who is enrolled in the Covington County YES program, and is a dual enrollment student at LBW Community College, also works part-time in Andalusia’s City Hall. Getting to and from these places is sometimes an issue because not only does she not have a vehicle, she hasn’t yet learned to drive.


Enter, Ronda Ricks, who coaches students in Youth Enrichment Services (YES).

“I went to my Study Club meeting last night, and it was like someone was tapping me on the shoulder, encouraging me to mention it,” she said. “So I did.”

Club members voted immediately, and purchased Janes a bicycle on Thursday.

The YES program is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Initiative funded through ADECA with federal funding from the Department of Labor. It provides participants assistance in overcoming barriers that have contributed to their lack of success in achieving educational and career goals and serves out-of-school youth ages 17 through 21. The program helps youth prepare for the GED test, provide leadership development, employability skills, community involvement and career exploration.

Janes said she dropped out of school in 10th grade when she moved to Andalusia.

“My dad was driving trucks, so it was hard to school,” she said. She then moved in with her grandparents, who enrolled her in a home school program.

“I struggled with that,” she said.

She also struggles with an anxiety disorder, she said.

“ Interacting with people is not really my strong point,” she said.

This summer, she attempted to enroll in high school. But when officials learned she was already 18, they encouraged her to go to the YES program.

“I have been in the YES program for three months,” she said, adding that she has completed her GED and graduates this month.

She already is a college dual enrollment student in computer science, and plans to continue her education in the spring semester, with hopes of becoming a teacher.

Thursday she was at work in city hall, scanning invoices, when Ricks showed up and asked to see her.

“I thought I was in trouble,” Janes said.

Much to her surprise, there was a purple bicycle waiting for her. For her, it means less dependence on others.

“I usually get rides from my parents or ride the CATS bus or walk to work when the weather is nice,” she said.

“I was really happy about it,” Janes said. For information on the YES program, call 334.881.2312.