Warner Robins, Ga. – In June, the Georgia Department of Corrections named John S. Harvey, Business Customer Service and Technology instructor, a finalist for its 2017 Vocational Instructor of the Year. Harvey, a nine-year veteran of correction education, works in Central Georgia Technical College’s (CGTC) Office of Re-entry Services at Johnson State Prison – an unexpected teaching environment – living out his passion to help others find their way in life.
“I never imagined myself working in the prison environment,” he said. “God always has a plan for you and it may not be the plan you expected.”
“Working in education for CGTC in the re-entry division has been satisfying and has given me the most gratification since I began working in the corrections environment. I awake every morning knowing I have the opportunity to go change men’s lives.”
Inspiration and motivation guide Harvey’s approach to teaching, helping students find a “renewed mindset,” as they begin a transformation process. He said he teaches students who just want a chance to make it again. While each student needs to know the requirements of business technology, Harvey also gives each one the skills and motivation to “keep grinding” as they work to re-enter into society.
Harvey said he sees results, too. Students continue to reach out to him with testimonies, and CGTC’s leadership members recognize his efforts.
“Mr. Harvey and his colleagues continue to do phenomenal work with Georgia’s incarcerated citizens,” said Dr. Brittany Lucas, executive director for the Office of Re-entry Services, which oversees certificate programs and on-the-job training, and employs nearly thirty instructors who teach in areas such as Welding, Design and Media Production, Horticulture, Diesel Truck Maintenance, Animal Healthcare, Barbering, and more.
“Each instructor provides a rigorous academic curriculum set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia. Not only do they ensure strong academic coursework, they also give their students’ workplace soft skills necessary for post-release employability. Mr. Harvey does this masterfully and we are proud of his nomination and all he has achieved.”
Harvey said he is thankful for the support of the re-entry division and GDC and is pleased to work under their partnership.
Harvey finished as one of three finalists for the award.
For more information on CGTC’s Office of Re-entry Services, contact Dr. Brittany Lucas at email@example.com
About CGTC’s Office of Re-entry Services:
The Office of Re-entry Services at Central Georgia Technical College offers technical certificates of credit in 13 facilities, and on-the-job-training opportunities across the state of Georgia. CGTC Re-Entry Services aims to help incarcerated citizens gain the knowledge and skills they need to find successful employment upon their release, which in turn, builds a better workforce to fulfill the needs of business and industry and support a healthy economy. Re-entry Services operates under inter-governmental agency contracts from Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT), the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC), and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
[Photo] Carla Best, program manager for the Office of Re-entry Services at CGTC, joins CGTC Business Customer Service and Technology instructor, John S. Harvey, Dr. Heather Corbett, director of Career, Technical and Post-Secondary Education for GDC, and CGTC executive vice president, Jeff Scruggs for a photo. The photo followed Harvey’s recognition by the Georgia Department of Corrections as a finalist for the GDC Vocational Instructor of the Year for 2017.