Celebrating a New Class of Ready for Work Champions at Suitland High School

February 18, 2020

Every year, we take time to recognize the critical partnership between VPP, our nonprofit partners, and the faculty and staff at Suitland High School who all work together to help students succeed in school and graduate career- and college-ready through our Ready for Work initiative.

A key strategy of Ready for Work is VPP’s youthCONNECT model, our nonprofit partners (PeerForward, Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, Maryland Multicultural Youth Center, Urban Alliance and Year Up) are placed inside of the school to support students to do well in school, gain internships or work experience, and graduate on time and prepared for college or pursue their career goals.

This work is only possible through the commitment and participation of school faculty and staff who put so much time and energy into supporting Suitland students and helping to build and strengthen connections between those students and the youthCONNECT partners.

At this year’s celebration, nonprofit partners selected eight faculty and staff members as our Ready for Work Champions. Below are our 2019-2020 Ready for Work Champions at Suitland High School and a few details on why they were selected.

Phyllis Wilson, PeerForward Advisor
As the official advisor to Peer Forward, she has demonstrated her dedication to the success of student leaders at Suitland High School by devoting her time, energy, and passion to supporting them.

Suprena Reid, Food Service Manager
She goes above and beyond to ensure that students receive nutritional support beyond the regular school day. These provisions give students energy and fuel to engage in after-school college and career readiness activities.

James Spence, Ninth Grade Assistant Principal
He is tirelessly committed to supporting students’ needs, referring them to youthCONNECT and other resources. He consistently follows up on the connection to these supports, strengthening the school community and highlighting opportunities for Suitland students to succeed.

Nicole Brooks-Diggs, Professional School Counselor
She believes in students and the work that MMYC does at the school. She extends her support by providing referrals to MMYC, providing supporting documents, and keeping lines of communication open.

Robert Zackery, SHS Technician
He has been a huge help, referring parents and students to youthCONNECT services, making sure our room is a great environment for us to support the needs of the students, and is always ready to give students sound advice.

Krystal Juggins, Cosmetology (Consumer Services, Hospitality & Tourism) Teacher
She has been an immense support in helping students understand the importance of professional development. She has greatly assisted Urban Alliance in facilitating students’ community service opportunities.

Anthony Lee, Business and Finance Teacher
He engages Urban Alliance and other youthCONNECT staff to participate in his students’ “elevator pitch” presentations. He also participates in Ready for Work activities and events, attending data walks, promoting consent form collections, and providing valuable insight into ways we can better support students at our school.

Marquita Braswell, AVID Teacher
She is deeply committed to building her AVID students’ foundational life skills, such as resume writing and cover letters. She constantly looks for new ways to learn about youthCONNECT and both engage and support students.

During the 2018-19 school year, Ready for Work’s youthCONNECT network served 1,475 students at Suitland. Without the partnership of school leaders, faculty and staff we should not achieve the success we are having with students in Suitland High School.

We congratulate all of the faculty and staff selected as champions this year for their passion and dedication to improving the lives of students at Suitland High School!