Robert Reed (right) dressed up as Uncle Sam as he spoke at the Ville Platte Rotary Club meeting that was held at the Northside Civic Center on the eve of Independence Day. He is pictured here with Rotary Vice President Peter Strawitz (left.) (Photo courtesy of Mark Layne/KVPI)
With Vacation Bible School taking place at the Family Life Center, the Ville Platte Rotary Club was exiled to the Northside Civic Center and to the South Louisiana Community College- C.B. Coreil Campus for its first two meetings in July.
While at the Civic Center on the eve of Independence Day, the Rotary Club heard from Robert Reed of Mamou who dressed up as Uncle Sam for the meeting as he does for other holidays and events.
Reed, who is the nephew of Cajun revivalist Revon Reed, explained that he joined the United States Navy after graduating from Mamou High School. His Naval career saw him serve in administrative capacities on submarines for over two years. He also explained that his career in the Navy took him to the Mediterranean Sea and to the United States Embassy in Australia.
The meeting a week later at Coreil Campus allowed the staff to showcase to the Rotary Club what the school has to offer.
“I want thank you all for allowing us to host this meeting here,” said campus director Carleen Jones. “We are very excited because we wanted you to come out and see our space.”
Student Life Specialist Damian Glover spoke about his role with the Office of Student Engagement. As he explained, “About 70-percent of my role is to maintain the one-stop shop for student services here on the C.B. Coreil Campus.”
Part of Glover’s duties are to engage and retain students on campus as well as being a student liaison with the Lafayette campus. He said that this entails stopping “them from going somewhere else or dropping out of school.”
Another aspect of Glover’s role is to provide services to students such as financial aid, registration, and career transfer information.
“We also provide assistance for the programs and events,” he stated. “Two days out of the week, I provide different types of programming and events with food and giveaways for the students to enjoy while they’re on campus. We have some great things planned for the fall such as competitions for some Saints tickets.”
Reverend Matthew Alfred, who sits on the campus’ advisory board, then commented on the school. He said that he first got involved with it as part of a program to “engage the college and the Church community to partner together to try to get students here in the Ville Platte area.”
He continued, “Our campus director Carleen Jones had placed all of her efforts in trying to get students to come to this campus, and we as a body of Christ are trying to instill wisdom and knowledge to our kids.”
Reverend Alfred then spoke about one of the new programs that the Ville Platte campus is trying to get up and running. He said that he thinks the CDL program is “going to help provide jobs for our young men and women.” He added, “We were able to visit the Crowley campus which has the CDL program in place already, and I was really impressed because there was a young lady test driving an 18-wheeler and she was going through her test.”
Another new program that will be available for Coreil Campus students is through a partnership with Ville Platte Iron Works. “They are looking to provide some assistance to get some of these students to enroll so that they can be equipped to cross over from the Coreil Campus into Ville Platte Iron Works to go work for them,” said Reverend Alfred.
The reverend concluded, “This is a great school and is the only community college that we have in this area. Many of our children don’t have transportation, so this is one of the closest locations they can come to get a decent education and a two-year degree.”
Earlier in the meeting at the campus, Rotarian and Mayor Jennifer Vidrine shared some breaking news that Dominos Pizza is coming to the old Luke’s Meat Market on the corner of LaSalle and Tate Cove. She said, “Renovations will start next week, and they’re looking at opening in early December.”
She also stated that Dominos will deliver.
Rotarian Darin Bordelon said, “Maybe the mayor can talk to Dominos because they’re fixing pot holes all over the place. They could fix the roads for us.”
Vice President Peter Strawitz quipped, “We’d have to eat a lot of pizza.”