Dave Thillen moved to Greene County in 1998 after a 30 year career with IBM. He wanted to continue community involvement as he had done in his previous location so he signed up to help build houses for Greene County Habitat for Humanity (GCHFH). He soon recognized that there was a need to work with the children living in the Habitat houses. So, he began to put a computer in every Habitat home by soliciting used computers from his friends and neighbors and reconditioning them. It then became obvious that even a bigger need was working with the high school students living in the homes to have a plan to graduate from Greene County High School (GCHS) and continue their education. Since Dave grew up in the inner city of Chicago, he knows that the way out of poverty is education. So, it became his passion to apply the highly organized and structured planning process learned at IBM into a planning process for students to graduate from high school and continue their education. The result over the past 13 years of working with the GCHFH students using the Education Planning Process is 92% graduated high school and 83% went on to college, technical college or the military. Today, there are 11 college graduates and 19 in college from the GCHFH homes.
A big project followed when James Peek, GCHS principal and John Ellenberg, CEO of the new Greene College and Career Academy (GCCA) asked Dave if it would be possible to apply the successful planning process for all students in GCHS. After 6 months of development and training working with Greg Simmons, GCHS Graduation Coach, we now have a web based system involving computers and smart phones that allows 27 volunteer Career Coaches to develop Career Plans and work with the 110 incoming freshmen. The expectation is to add each freshman class over the next few years so that all GCHS students will be associated with Career Coaches and have Career Plans.
Greene College and Career Academy
Mr. John Ellenberg, CEO
1002 S. Main Street; Greensboro, GA 30642
706.453.2271 (Phone) ~ 706-453-3311 (Fax)
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