Orleans/Niagara BOCES recently announced that Workforce Development Case Manager Rhonda Bivins-Talley, MS.Ed, has been recognized by the LaSalle Educational Club Inc. She received the Community Service Award at the 50th annual awards banquet, whose theme was “Why Should We Give Back.”
Bivins-Talley is a native of Niagara Falls and has been a champion for positive youth development, college readiness and workforce training for more than 20 years. She possesses extensive experience, skills, training and education to help those striving to meet personal and professional goals. Gaining her experience in various key roles with universities, colleges, high schools, community organizations and government agencies, she advanced her interest to support inner city youth serving as director of after-school programs, assistant director of nursing workforce diversity, coordinator of youth literacy programs, counselor, teacher, mentor and most recently as case manager, to connect students to academic and occupational resources that lead to high-demand health care and manufacturing occupations.
Bivins-Talley has been with Orleans/Niagara BOCES as a case manager since 2016 under the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act grant to recruit and prepare Niagara County out of school youth, ages 16-24 interested in certified nurse assisting, home health aide, building trades, grounds and maintenance and auto technology training programs. She is also charged with eliminating barriers to training completion, job placement and attainment of a high school equivalency for those who did not graduate from high school.
“It was a delightful event and such an honor to be selected along with Kristen Martell (Teacher Award) and Rev. Dr. Charles Searcy Sr. (Humanitarian Award) for supporting our students from the time they walk through the door straight through to graduation. The recognition is a subtle reminder that part of my purpose in life is to help someone else realize their own,” she said.
She also added that her family will award a $500 scholarship to a deserving high school senior next year in honor of her mother, the late Barbara J. Bivins.