Meet Cherise Buchanan

November 21, 2019

Meet Cherise Buchanan

Cherise Buchanan is a Career Coach for Workforce Solutions at Kellogg Community College. Cherise coaches students in the Innovated Accelerated Credentialed Training (iACT) program. iACT offers free accelerated training to prepare adults for the workforce in the manufacturing and nursing fields. Cherise has worked in the non-profit sector for several years. She is also a minister at New Harvest Christian Center, and she even has her own radio show called, Rise & Shine 6012.

A Culture of Vitality

As a career coach for iACT, Cherise recruits students for the program. She also supports and provides resources to students while they are in the program, and she follows up with students after graduation. “I like to help people… really showing them tools and giving them ways that they can help themselves,” Cherise said. The career coaches also try to help remove barriers for students so that they can focus on their studies and receive their certification from the program. From lessons about professional clothing to transportation, the career coaches try to do what they can to help the students succeed. Cherise believes this program helps make the workforce more viable by training individuals and giving them skills they need for the jobs in their desired fields. Additionally, this program can also be a second chance. Some students who may have dropped out of college due to finances can take advantage of the free training. Similarly, formerly incarcerated people are able to get the tools they need through the program to re-enter the workforce. In addition to the job training, iACT includes a resume building and interview skills course. The program then helps connect students to employers and get job opportunities. “We had one gentleman in our last group. He finished [the program] on a Thursday and had a job on Monday,” Cherise said.

Keeping the Momentum Going

Cherise’s goal is to figure out ways to make the program better. She focuses on how to make it more accessible and on continuing to advocate for students and their needs. The students earn college credit in the iACT program and after graduation, some continue in their pursuit of more education. Cherise believes there really is a need for this type of training in our community, and she hopes the program will continue.

The Best Part

Cherise prides herself on being a hands-on coach. “My reward is seeing them finish the program, get the job that they’ve been waiting to get, and get the opportunities they’ve been waiting to get,” she says. Cherise loves running into program graduates down the line and hearing their success stories. She has also made many connections in her role as a career coach. “I love connecting with people from all different walks of life…through this program, I get to connect with a lot of different individuals, not only my students but also other community partners.” You can click here for more information about the iACT program and to apply. Do you know someone who is helping to move our community forward? Learn more about how to nominate someone today. Make sure to read about our past “Get Caught” recipients like Chris Jones, Brittany Sheehy, and so many more!