by Tyler Meister
WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — From 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, students and staff at Central Georgia Technical College had the opportunity to take part in a “Wellness Expo,” an event focused not solely on their academic growth, but on their mental, physical and emotional health.
CGTC’s Executive Director for Counseling Services Tonja Simmons Lee told The Journal that the purpose of the event was to give those attending the opportunity to “be whole.”
“We don’t just want good students, we want good people,” Lee said. “We have a very important part in the role our students play when it comes to employment, when it comes to them having economic growth — we want to make sure that when they show up, they show up as their best selves.”
CGTC works with their students to provide them an education and skills, but also in helping them become candidates for employment. Serving that mission, Lee said events like this provide them with some of the necessary soft skills to make their employees and their company valuable.
“We have a guarantee on our education, so when our students show up to employers, we have ensured them they’re getting our best and our brightest because we’ve poured into them that way,” Lee said. “Some of those soft skills that come along, such as emotional intelligence, being able to be a team player, learning how to identify what’s happening with them so they can better interact with their team — those are very important soft skills.
“Can [you], outside of perfect decision making, outside of perfect skill sets, can you be that person who is going to elevate the company in other areas to where they are attractive to the outside community?”
Among the groups present was CGTC’s counseling team, Max Fitness, Salvation Army Safe House, Houston Healthy and the Georgia Department of Public Health. All had people available to talk to, as well as information and contact information to take home.
“This is their first job, coming here as a student. The way they show up with their attendance, with their insistence on making sure they’re turning in assignments correctly, that they’re asking for help, this is their first opportunity to get it right in a safe space, where support is there,” Lee said. “When we build them up in all those different areas, and when they leave us to go to their employers, we feel very confident that we’ve not only created great students, but now we have students who will become a productive part of the community that they’re involved in, and enhanced the abilities of the company they’re working for.
“Wellness is the grounding point for us, and then we build from there.”
– HHJ News