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Life at Job Corps

Updated on September 27, 2012

Life at job corps

The ignorance of a job corps student is something that can completely amaze someone who has had a decent life in a town with little to no crime or violence. Though being a program for underprivileged students, most of the people you will meet here are from the inner city. There are people from all walks of life yet when you put them all together in this mixing pot it seems that obnoxious and belligerent are the attitudes that overpower any kind gestures, or attitudes that anyone else had. As soon as you walk on campus you’re told to keep your belonging locked up so as to not be stolen from you. They warn you about being jumped. And as a female, how dangerous it is to walk around campus unaccompanied.
Students here may have made an attempt to start their lives over and do it right by signing up to get a career, but as soon as they get on campus it’s just the same as being back home. They stop trying, it’s a race for acceptance and popularity. Relationships are started, girls get pregnant, people start fights, half of the people you enroll with will be terminated after the first month. Even with the constant termination of trouble makers there is no end to the violence and immaturity of the students on campus.
A Lot of the staff is racist in the strangest way. They are racist in a way in which they are madly attempting to not be racist, which is just ridiculous. If a few students get into a fight and they’re white, they may immediately be terminated, depending on the severity of their actions. Yet if the same thing occurs to a group of black students, they will nine times out of ten get away with a slap on the wrist. Now I can’t even begin to understand how some of these staff members think. Many of the students believe that we are nothing but a check to them, which may very well be right. Upon acceptance into a job corps the school is given 25,000 dollars, this money goes towards housing, food, and recreational activities. The students are also given a small amount of this money as a bi weekly pay. The pay is about $23.00, if you don’t miss any classes, this money is given so the students may purchase personal hygiene items. Most students will spend it on booze, cigarettes, and food. Yes, the food here is so awful that they must live off of ramen noodles. Students are also only feed 3 times a day on weekdays and twice on weekends. With all the activity most of the students do on campus, that is not enough food. Once on a job corps you will notice rapid weight loss, some say it’s because you’re being more active when it’s mostly due to the lack of nutrition in the slop they serve daily. The food again, is awful, but after dealing with it for about two weeks to a month you get used to it.
Now if you walk into a job corps with the right mind about you, it can definitely help you along in life. You may pick a trade that is just a pre apprentice trade, or one that will only let you assist the assistance, which is most trades. Don’t worry about it, if you complete and do well enough in class, job corps will pay for you to attend a local community college which is what you will want to do if you are serious about your career and your future. If you do choose to go to college you will still be living on job corps, in the dorms, with many roommates.
The dorms are something that I absolutely despise. As soon as you walk in you are surround by many other students and depending on the living situation at your job corps you can and most likely will be sharing your room with five other students. If you’re lucky, you and those five will share a private bathroom. If you are not lucky you will be sharing a bathroom with 30 students. The bathroom will have about 3 stalls for toilets and have 4 showers blocked off my curtains so it’s not completely violating your privacy. In the morning you must wake up at 6 o’clock to sign a morning report, do dorm duties (cleaning the bathroom, the lobby, taking out the trash, washing the windows, dusting, sweeping, mopping), and prepare yourself for breakfast and school. Now for some reason the students are not allowed to wear pajamas anywhere around campus. Not even for recreational activities such as going to the library, the art centre, or the campus theatre, if you’re lucky enough to have those. You also must have sleeves, no tank tops or beaters, or else you will not be allowed to enter any of the buildings. Which isn’t so bad.
Mostly try to avoid any drama, which will be so difficult because going to a job corps is similar to being in middle school/ high school. Everyone wants to start a fight, and they will, there are fights ever single day. Avoid them. Stay in your room, run in the opposite direction, climb a tree, DO NOT get caught near a fight. If the staff sees you near a fight they may think that you were involved which can result in termination. Or student will get in trouble and they saw you there and they will say that you snitched or ratted them out. DO NOT get caught near a fight. Just don’t do it.
Classes. Well, honestly, the classes are so extremely easy. The program is a go at your own pace program, so you can finish it as quickly as 6 months. You could finish earlier but you must attend 120 days of classes, so about 6 months. There are ways of getting out earlier, say that your mother is ill or some sort of bullshit excuse and your counselor will see what they can do to get you out of class as quickly as possible. Class is easy, don’t skip it. If you do skip it, it’s a dollar off your paycheck for every hour that you’re not there. Your paycheck is only 23 dollars, don’t throw it away. You could always just sleep in class, depending on your trade and your teachers, most don’t care.
Occasionally you will meet somebody kool, don’t trust them. Do not trust anybody. Do not lend anybody money and do not borrow any money, it does not end well. Even after knowing somebody for months is still a safe bet to not trust them, but there are few exceptions. There are good people on campus, do not abuse them. I found a group of friends that I am so extremely grateful for. Intelligent, talented people who knew what they wanted to do, knew what they had to do, and they did it. I’m proud to call them my friends. You can only hope to be so lucky, because again I will stress this point. DO NOT TRUST ANYBODY. Set your mind to what you have to do, do it and get out. Try to get college classes. Advanced training is usually a waste of your time, it’s just going to another job corps to do the same thing that you just did. Stay focused and get out with what you need to succeed in life. If job corps is what you are looking to do I wish you the best of luck. Please do not get caught up in the drama and the non sense. People are extremely ignorant. Avoid everybody that seems like trouble. Stay positive, and when you feel like quitting, tough it out, you will get through it.


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      4 years ago

      What center did you attend?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Job corps is the longest running failure our country has. I attended one and went to college, but it was tough and you are treated like crap for being white. You will see the worst of the worst from every inner city slum come and go.

      There are other avenues to a GED or job training that you must explore before considering job corps. If I had to do it over, I probably would not have enrolled in job corps. Good luck

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks :)

    • profile image

      David Murphy 

      4 years ago

      WWho ever wrote that about job core I'm getting ready to go .thank for the help and advice


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