Ben D. Johnson educational center receives $15,350 grant from International Paper

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From left are Ben D. Johnson Executive Director Dallas Russell, International Paper Red River Mill Communications Coordinator Kelly Trumbo, Ben D. Johnson Center founder and Board Chair Claire Prymus, JoAnna Cooper and Raderrius Colbert.

Funding will support the Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center (BDJ Center) has been awarded $15,350 in grant funds from International Paper Red River Mill.

Funds will be used to support young people ages 17-24 that are out of work and out of school by providing career development, life and leadership skills, and culinary training with support to overcome barriers to employment. The Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program, an offering of the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center, began with the first cohort in April 2019.

Natchitoches Wood

The work readiness training program provides participants skills to enter and remain in the workforce. Now enrolling the BDJ Center’s third cohort, the 16-week program provides students opportunities to gain their ServSafe Certification, financial literacy knowledge, and hands-on culinary training at the BDJ Center’s Legacy Café. Throughout their education participants develop a job readiness portfolio, gain work experience during their Front of House and Back of House Legacy Café rotations, use fresh, local products from the Ben D. Johnson Garden and earn money while learning.

“We are grateful for the continued support of International Paper Red River Mill,” said Claire Prymus, founder and Board Chair of the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center.

“At International Paper, we believe our company cannot succeed if our communities do not succeed. We are proud to support the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center’s Legacy Youth Workforce Development Program as they strive to address the community needs in the Natchitoches area,” said International Paper Red River Mill Communications Coordinator Kelly Trumbo.