Sheilah Goulart

As a teen, I was like many of you – a truant who was not interested in high school.  If there had been the truancy police, I certainly would have been in that office each day.  It wasn’t until I started taking business courses and began working after school that I really felt like high school was making sense for me.  I worked several clerical jobs during and after high school, but started my career in education 37 years ago as a clerk typist at an elementary school.  I loved my job and attended conferences and took Delta College classes to improve my skills, which resulted in several promotions.  For 10 years I worked two jobs—administrative assistant during the day and teaching word processing two to three nights a week, many times while also taking college courses.  Why do I tell you this?  To prove that you can do anything you put your mind to–it just takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and education to achieve goals in life.

Since coming to San Joaquin County Office of Education in 1999, I have had the good fortune of creating a number of career and technical education programs. 

·        In 2002, I co-founded the WorkStartYES program which provides young adults, ages 16-21, with the support to complete their high school education, participate in paid work experience, and enter employment or post-secondary       education upon graduating. 

·        In 2006, I founded the YouthBuild San Joaquin program, which provides young adults, ages 16-24, with the opportunity to complete their high school education, earn industry-recognized certificates in construction, give back to the community through service and building affordable homes, and develop as leaders.  YouthBuild San Joaquin is also a direct-entry site for the Laborers and Carpenters Unions.  Graduates receive one year of support to enter employment or post-secondary education.

·        In 2010, I led the opening of San Joaquin Building Futures Academy, a charter school for older youth, ages 16-24, who also participate in programs funded by WIA, YouthBuild, or the local conservation corps.  Here older youth receive the supports they need to complete their high school education, many while also raising a family or working.

·        In 2010, I founded the Greater Valley Conservation Corps (formerly called San Joaquin Regional Conservation Corps) for youth, ages 18-25, who are interested in working in recycling, landscaping, habitat restoration, or environmental stewardship.  Corpsmembers who have not completed high school can earn their diploma or GED at San Joaquin Building Futures Academy.

Career and Technical Education is my passion and securing the funding to provide youth with multiple opportunities is my purpose.  I challenge you to get involved in one of these programs.  I guarantee that the experience will be transformational.