At 16, Alizeah Jones already has a clear sense of how she’d like her life to unfold. She just needed a school that would allow her to move at the fast pace that, for her, works best.
At a traditional high school, Alizeah felt stymied by classes that, by necessity, needed to move at a speed appropriate for all students. “I wanted to graduate faster and I knew if I could do it at my own pace, I could do it.”
Transferring to Clark County Acceleration Academies has allowed her to soar. In addition to excelling at her regular coursework, she was selected to participate in a new partnership to prepare students for jobs in the booming field of digital marketing.
Alizeah is one of the CCAA graduation candidates selected to participate in the Nevada Help Desk training program led by Dr. Duana Malone, aka “The Tech Queen.” The partnership is a pilot project of Acceleration Academies’ growing Career and Technical Education (CTE) initiative.
Recently, Alizeah became the first student in Nevada to earn the Facebook Community Manager certification, which trains social media managers in developing marketing content and engaging users online.
“We are so proud of all that Alizeah has accomplished,” says CCAA Director Wendy Thompson. “She was the first student in the state of Nevada to earn the new certification for Facebook. At 16 years old, her fierce determination, strong commitment to her high school studies and great habits of practice are helping her soar to new heights.”
Every morning during the early summer, Alizeah and other students gathered at Las Vegas City Hall to learn digital skills, work on their projects and hear from inspirational speakers. Alizeah has dreams of going to culinary school and opening her own restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip. While digital marketing was not an area that she had previously explored, she decided to seize the opportunity to join the first-ever class in the program.
She loved it. She worked with a digital marketing strategy group to build a Facebook page for Wendell P. Williams, a former Nevada state lawmaker, founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King Committee of Las Vegas, radio talk show creator and educator.
“We’re creating a digital legacy for him,” she says.
She also worked on a Wikipedia page for Dr. Malone, a prominent tech entrepreneur committed to creating opportunities for young people who might not otherwise get them. “She’s amazing,” Alizeah says. “She’s very inspiring.”
Succeeding in the Help Desk program positions Alizeah to put her skills to work in paid internships and, if those go well, to qualify for jobs with employers such as MGM, Facebook, Google and others.
She’s glad she enrolled at CCAA, and glad she took the opportunity to gain new skills and insights in a field she might not otherwise have considered. What advice would she offer other young learners who are trying to chart their futures?
“Never block your own blessing,” she says. “If there is an opportunity that is presenting itself to you, take it.”