The Delta Health Alliance

The GREAT Programs Means a Bright Future for Indianola

Posted on: December 1, 2016

INDIANOLA, Miss. – Tambriaunna Reeves wants to dispense a better future for her and her three children, so she turned to the Indianola Promise Community (IPC) and a program that is helping her to become a pharmacy technician.

“It’s more work than I thought, but it’s a lot of fun,” said Tambriaunna, 24. “I hope to find a job in a clinic or at a hospital.”

Through the GREAT program, or Getting Ready to Excel, Achieve and Triumph, she is taking a 10-week course at Mississippi Delta Community College’s Charles W. Capps, Jr. Technology Center. The Center is an IPC program partner which also offers courses in welding, medical office assistant training and manufacturing basic skills technology as part of the GREAT program.

“The Capps Center has the resources to not only train these students, but to assist them in getting hired coming out of the program,” said Lolita Gladney, an IPC program manager. “Milwaukee Tool and Nissan are two business that they partner with, so this is a great opportunity to have a meaningful and successful career.”

GREAT gives young adults in Indianola the opportunity to gain skills that will assist them with employment and furthering their education. An offshoot of IPC’s Summer GRADS program, GREAT is open to Indianola residents who are:

  • between 18-24 years old
  • graduates or attendees of Indianola’s Gentry High School
  • recipients of a high school diploma or GED
  • interested in a career as a pharmacy technician, welder, medical office assistant or in manufacturing basic skills technology.

Students in the GREAT program pay 25 percent of the cost of courses with IPC picking up the rest. Once she completes her classes, Tambriaunna will take the necessary tests to become certified by the state.

“There is such responsibility in the career I’m pursuing as a pharmacy tech,” said Tambriaunna. “You can’t make a mistake with drugs. Somebody’s life is depending on you knowing your job.”

Gladney said the GREAT program helps fill an employment gap for young people growing up in a region of the state with limited opportunities.

“Once they graduate from high school, many of our students are immediately looking for jobs,” said Gladney. “College isn’t an option for everyone, so the GREAT program is a chance to prepare for their future.”

Using the local school district, the Capps Center, area businesses and advertising, Gladney is looking to recruit a greater number of students into the program. For Tambriaunna, GREAT spells the future.

“I would recommend this program to anyone who wants a career but doesn’t have the time or resources to enroll fulltime in college,” she said. “I’m so glad I decided to do this.”