Blog Posts

Meet The Staff - Jonika

October 18, 2020

What is your title and role?

I am an Innovative Learning Supervisor at Center for Employment Training. 

Brief description of what you do and program you are in?

I am in the Workforce Development program at Center for Employment Training. I oversee curriculum development, implementation, and advancement. I also ensure the integration of cornerstones (adult education, skill training, career development, success skills) with an applied learning approach. Additionally, I get to lead instructional staff and provide coaching to ensure service excellence through a quality training experience, that is industry-related, and provides a “real work” experience.

What inspires you about the work that you do?

The people inspire me the most are customers and staff. Amazing things happen at Brighton Center and the people are what make the magic happen. Most people are afraid of change, but Brighton Center is a safe place to embrace those fears. There is no judgment, no restrictions, just good people doing good deeds while encouraging others to pay it forward. In a world riddled with politics, it is nice to be a part of an organization that values collaboration over competition.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

 Life can be chaotic, so solitude is everything. Gardening, reading, watching movies, preparing for my new grandbaby are some of my favorite things to do!

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about communication because we speak our own unique language. Learning to speak one’s language not only allows you to connect with them, but also relay messages that are capable of breaking down barriers.

I am also passionate about self-discovery because we live in a state of constant transition and transformation.

What would be your personal motto?

Grow through what you go through

Meet The Staff - Dawn

October 12, 2020

What is your Title and Role?

I am a Street Outreach Supervisor

Can you give us a brief description of what you do within your program?

I do a little bit of everything within my position. I mainly oversee the street outreach program and support homeless individuals from ages 16-25.

What inspires you most about what you do?

This job can be very difficult at times but what keeps me going is the partnerships and relationships gained from assisting kids off the streets. I love seeing the results.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love gardening in the summertime. I also love doing various craft projects.

What are you passionate about?

Right now I am most passionate about getting transitional housing for the youth in Northern Kentucky.

What would your personal motto be?

Be the light


Click Here to learn more about Street Outreach Services 

Meet The Staff - Lela

October 05, 2020

What is your Title and Role?

I am a Case Manager at Northern Kentucky Scholar House. 


Can you give us a brief description of what you do within your program?

I work with families, specifically single-parent families who are getting their post-secondary education degree. I meet with my customers on a monthly basis in regards to their progress with school, I provide crisis management, and I help them with budgeting. I take part in many other tasks behind the scenes to ultimately support my customers through their journey toward self-sufficiency.


What inspires you most about what you do?

I see Brighton Center as an abstract painting and everyone has a stroke in it to tell a story that becomes valuable. The final result is a beautiful painting that everyone gets to see. I am proud to be part of such a great organization.


What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I am currently in the process of getting my PhD. in Educational Leadership Studies at Xavior University. I also love spending time with my three grandkids and love doing anything fashion related.


What are you passionate about?

I am most passionate about change and transformation. I believe that the butterfly is the most powerful creature in the universe.


What would your personal motto be?

Never have higher expectations of anyone else than that of yourself.

Our Commitment to Advancing Racial Equity

September 16, 2020

For many years, Brighton Center has embraced diversity and inclusion while working to advance our organization and the community as a whole. We launched our racial equity journey over three years ago, knowing that, although crucial, diversity and inclusion alone will not lift up all in our community. We challenged ourselves first knowing that we need to do our internal work and push ourselves, our systems, and our processes to keep moving forward our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. Here is a look at our journey, where we have been, where we are, and where we are going! 

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10 Ways to Celebrate Grandparents Day This Year Even While Distancing

September 11, 2020
  1. Send a care package: send a box that includes your favorite things when you are together!

  2. Meet outdoors while being socially distant: bring some food and catch up!

  3. Do a video chat with the whole family: simply catch up on daily life!

  4. Read a book virtually that honor grandparents…or just their favorite book!

  5. Make a video that makes them feel loved and send it!

  6. Send a homemade card in the mail: handmade gifts are always the best!

  7. Go down memory lane: chat about your favorite memories!

  8. Bake a delicious dessert: drop it off for your grandparent to enjoy!

  9. Print off a crossword puzzle: do it virtually together!

  10. Movie night: everyone watches a movie from their own home and discusses virtually after!

Crisis Breeds Creativity

May 13, 2020

Over the past two months, we have adapted in every imaginable way to continue to meet community needs under ever-increasing constraints due to COVID-19.  Crisis breeds creativity and provides the opportunity of seeing the way we deliver services through a different lens. 

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Activities For Toddlers to Teens 2

April 11, 2020

We are back with another week of fun activities to keep kids engaged from toddlers to teens. Check out the ideas and activities our Early Education and Youth Services staff have put together. 

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Activities For Toddlers to Teens

April 03, 2020

You may be spending a lot more time at home, but that doesn't mean the fun and learning have to stop. Our Early Education and Youth Services teams have put together some great activities to keep young ones from toddlers to teens engaged. 

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10 Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

March 04, 2020

By now, all Americans have received their 2019 W2 forms and related tax information and it’s time to file taxes. According to the IRS, the average tax refund last year was just shy of $3,000.

That’s a lot of money for most households!

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We can Advance Racial Equity in Kentucky By Investing in Pre-apprenticeship

November 13, 2019

Written by Wonda Winkler, Brighton Center Executive Vice President

 One of our core values at Brighton Center is a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and racial equity. That core value is driven by the fundamental belief that our society will only truly be fair when people of every race and ethnicity have an equal opportunity to succeed as well as equitable access to the tools, resources, and support they need to reach that success.

The unfortunate reality is that far too many Kentuckians are struggling to achieve economic security for themselves and their families, especially people of color. And while our state has made advancing and promoting apprenticeship programs a priority and is seeing some momentum, we must still work to build out and expand these efforts across the Commonwealth, including Northern Kentucky, to best support working families. We must also broaden the apprenticeship pipeline for people of color by investing in pre-apprenticeship programs.

Some efforts within the state include the Kentucky Advanced Technical College High (KTECH) program, the New Skills for Youth (NSFY) initiative funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Tech Ready Youth Apprentices for Careers in Kentucky (TRACK). KTECH is designed for students in grades 9-12 plus 2 to ensure they have the skills employers need to fill well-paying middle and high demand jobs. One way that will occur is through work-based learning. As one of the states funded for NSFY, Kentucky seeks to transform the delivery of career and technical education by increasing access to dual credit, industry-recognized credentials, demand sector career pathways in-demand sectors, and work-based learning. TRACK provides secondary students with seamless career pathway opportunities into Registered Apprenticeships.

These efforts are definitely a step in the right direction and are exactly the kind of meaningful workforce policy solutions that would help meet our state’s future workforce needs. It is important to ensure that opportunities and outcomes exist for everyone as these initiatives are being built. In particular, increasing economic opportunities for people of color requires developing relationships even before developing skills through job training. Therein lies the value of pre-apprenticeship programs.

Pre-apprenticeship programs also need our collective focus and attention, and are critical to leveling the playing field for workers of color who may not have the professional network to access high-wage industries like construction, manufacturing, transportation, or health care. This is especially important given the income disparities between people of color and White Americans.

For example, a recent report by National Skills Coalition – The Roadmap for Racial Equity – states that Black apprentices still earn the lowest exit wages of all apprentices (about $14 per hour median wage) compared to about $26 per hour for White apprentices.

Not to mention that more than half of Black workers and 60 percent of Latinx workers nationally are paid less than $15 per hour. Or that women of color and foreign-born women are overrepresented in low-wage jobs like personal care aides ($11.11 per hour average wage) and home health aides ($11.16 per hour) compared to high-wage jobs like registered nurses ($33.65 per hour), which tend to skew White.

Effective pre-apprenticeship programs for youth and adults will allow them to explore a variety of work environments, learn the basic technical skills to succeed in a particular industry, and receive the mentorship, coaching, and support services needed to succeed and complete training – such as child care and transportation assistance.

As apprenticeship, pre-apprenticeship, and work-based learning opportunities are initiated, strengthened, or expanded, it is vital to remember the important role and voice that employers must have in this process. Their willingness to be deeply and fully engaged in partnership with education and workforce development practitioners must occur to ensure the best outcome for the current and future workforce, especially pertaining to diversity, inclusion, and equity.  

Lawmakers should require data disaggregated by race on pre-apprenticeship programs and they should use that data to target investments to organizations that have a demonstrated track record of effectiveness in serving people of color.

There’s no doubt that pre-apprenticeship programs aren’t the only solution. But they’re a crucial component to helping address the education, employment, and income disparities that persist in our state and country.

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