- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

GARY, Ind. (AP) - Two members of the Women of Steel organization encouraged girls who attend the Gary New Tech Innovative Institute to finish their high school education and earn a college degree.

Sherry Schultz and Lillie Owen-Taylor, who work at U.S. Steel Corp., were guest speakers at New Tech on Thursday. Both speakers said they were teen moms, but told students that is no reason to let that derail their education and their future.

Schultz said U.S. Steel has afforded her an excellent job, and she has earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree. “The more education you get, the more you can climb,” she said.

The pair stressed the importance of an education to become gainfully employed and a contributing member of society, The Times reported (https://bit.ly/1zAn5Yf ).

Schultz said, “if U.S. Steel folds, if there’s a layoff or a strike, I can go anywhere and get a job. I enjoy learning. I have taken advantage of everything the company has to offer,” she said, adding she started in the mill at 25 years old.

Taylor said education is very important for the job. “The more education you have, the better your income,” she said, adding there is an opportunity for a six-figure income at the steel mill.

That’s one of the many things that Gwendolyn Sanders, pathway coordinator at the Gary Area Career Center, wants the female students to get out of the presentation.

“They (the speakers) were able to relate to the students because they shared their personal experiences. What’s priceless is the information they discussed about what employers are looking for in prospective employees,” she said.

Senior Ebony Lane, 18, thought the presentation was enlightening. She intends to be a business management major.

“It’s very encouraging for teen moms who are going through so much and may not have their parents still around. I know some teen moms who don’t really want to finish their education. I think it will encourage them to finish high school and go on to college and make a better life for themselves and their children,” Lane said.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com


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