The Youth Success Academy (YSA) on the Walker County Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) is helping out-of-school youth get their GED, start college with many expenses covered, and begin their path to a successful career.

The program serves Walker, Catoosa, Dade, and Chattooga Counties and is open to 16 to 21-year-old individuals that wish to attain a GED and a technical education degree. It also offers many specialized services that will help students advance to further career training and find employment.

“Before I went to the Youth Success Academy my life was at a standstill while living in Ringgold with my wife and seven-month-old son,” said Paul Cotter. “I was in need of a GED and a better job.”

Cotter, a resident of Rossville, says that he was working towards his GED when Cassey Blevins, YSA work experience assistant, asked if he was interested in a job.

“She found me a position at Old Mill Kettle Corn, I completed my GED, and now I have a great supervisor position,” said Cotter. “I am very thankful to the people and teachers at YSA and Georgia Northwestern.”

Students ages 19 to 21, who obtain their GED through the program and enroll at GNTC, may also be eligible for having many costs covered including part of their tuition, application and technology fees, books, supplies, and other expenses.
“I felt great after completing my GED, it was one of the most important decisions in my life and I felt like it was my only option,” said Steven Keith, a resident of Rossville and student at GNTC’s Walker County Campus. “My current plans are to receive my diploma in welding so I can make a good living and income.”
Some of the training and workshops that students can take advantage of include leadership skills, communication skills, fundamental work ethics, preparing a resume, career exploration and counseling, teamwork skills, and emphasizing productivity.
The Youth Success Academy is located in Room 116 at the Walker County Campus of GNTC. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Melissa Tweed, youth services assistant, at (706) 764-3783.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. Approximately 22,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fourth largest technical college in Georgia.