RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — While not all students do well in school, one teenager's success story at Job Corps shows why scholarly struggles might not be so concerning.

After leaving Rawlins High School a few years ago after dealing with bullying, 19-year-old Quincie Somervold recently returned from the Wind River Job Corps Center in Riverton with a high school diploma and state recognition.

"I was struggling in school, so my mom pulled me out and tried online school," Somervold said. "It didn't work for me, so then I found Job Corps."

While attending JC this year, she was named Wyoming's Champion in a Microsoft Office.

Somervold found it hard attending JC at first, away from home, but she quickly formed bonds with classmates and staff.

While there, she attended high school classes in the morning and trade classes in the afternoon.

The students worked at their own pace, were given unlimited opportunities to ask questions and worked in smaller classrooms to allow more familiarity among students and staff.

While testing to become certified, Somervold scored a 963 out of 1,000 on a Microsoft Word exam and was selected to compete in Certiport's 218 Microsoft Office Specialist U.S. National Championship June 13-15 in Atlanta.

"I've never been a huge fan of technology or computers, and have never been good at it," she said. "I just took the test did the assignments (my teacher) gave me."

Despite being unable to attend the event, Somervold said the experience showed her she is capable of many things.

Instead of taking part in the Championship, Somervold spent about a month interning at the Lander Children's Museum, completing a number of administrative tasks prior to returning to Rawlins.

Since returning to town, Somervold has picked up a job at the Carbon County Collection Center. It involves using data entry, telephone skills and face-to-face communication.

"(Job Corps) helped me with my confidence and knowing that I can do things, that I didn't think I could before," she said. "So I guess, in that aspect, it has helped me with my social skills. I'm not as afraid to go talk to people as I was before."

Looking to the future, Somervold hopes to eventually own her own animal shelter or pet store, and is looking to enter college online.

The success story has lit a fire for Somervold's sister, who has grown interest in attending Job Corps herself.


Since opening a stable office in Rawlins about a year and a half ago, Admissions Counselor Crystal Rodriguez said representatives have seen about 45 students apply to attend Job Corps. Those who have attended the Center for 90 days or longer have been given career transition services. The services include childcare, housing, transportation, help in finding a job and mentoring.

"We have kids that go in and get the commercial driver's License, get welding certificates," Rodriguez said. "We have CNA programs, dental assistant programs, pharmacy type programs, so you can pretty much be ready to work anywhere."


Information from: Rawlins (Wyo.) Daily Times, http://www.rawlinstimes.com