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Workforce Success Story Submitted By:
Workforce Solutions South Plains


Meet Dakota

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Workforce Challenge

Dakota Keyser first entered the Workforce Solutions Year-Round WIA Youth program at the age of 14. As an only child of a single parent who is legally blind, Dakota has learned to face all of life’s challenges head-on, and is mature beyond his age in many ways. However, with a disabled parent, and as a typical active teenager with minimal focus, he needed career guidance and college preparatory counseling in order to map out a successful future. His dedication and commitment to success, regardless of circumstances, have allowed Dakota a number of opportunities which may not have been presented otherwise.

Workforce Solution

As a participant in South Plains Workforce Development Board’s (SPWDB) WIA In-School-Youth (ISY) Program since 2008, Dakota has gained knowledge, experience, and skills necessary for employment, economic independence and higher education. The Workforce Solutions youth program has partnered with Texas Tech University College of Engineering to identify youth interested in a careers in engineering and robotics. The program, called “FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Team 1817, is an education and training program that provided Dakota with his first work experience as he joined other high school students working under graduate student mentors to engineer a robot that would compete in various robotics competitions. Dakota loved the work, and his attitude, work ethics and academic prowess were above reproach.

Outcomes & Benefits

Dakota Keyser will be graduating from Levelland High School this year with aspirations of attending Texas Tech University and its College of Engineering program. Dakota currently serves as a mentor for younger students new to the program and continues to make a positive impact on FIRST TEAM 1817.

As a result of his ongoing diligence to succeed as a young engineering student, Dakota received the Exemplary Youth Award during the Workforce Solutions Awards Ceremony of April 2010. He continues to receive accolades from both his peers and superiors. He has been able to step out of the shadows of doubt, to becoming a strong positive leader and role model.


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