Jen Shade is backing up her feelings about post-secondary education with the funds to support it.
Her feeling is that not everyone needs to, or should, seek out college for a four-year degree.
“When I was growing up, I did OK academically, but it wasn’t my forte,” said Shade, a member of the 105.7 The X Rocks People’s Morning Show team.
Students have choices when they graduate, including trade schools. The current skills gap in some industries, especially manufacturing, has shown the need for people who pursue those alternatives.
Shade is doing something about it as the founder of Divas Elite Social Riding Club, a group in Central Pennsylvania with 27 members who have a passion for motorcycles, riding and helping women and at-risk students. They have been riding for four years.
The group recently gave away four $500 scholarships to female students pursuing schooling at YTI Career Institute’s Motorcycle Technology Center.
Not everyone wants to pursue a four-year college degree, she said. And it’s hard for many high school students to go against the grain of the four-year college route.
“All of the sudden kids feel lost or they feel they are not as good as … the other kids, and I never believed that 25 years ago. I believe in it less, now,” Shade said. “Go into work every day doing what you love. That should be everyone’s goal.”
Helping students enrolled in the motorcycle technology class at YTI was the right fit for her group. Shade loves to ride and has been doing so for the past three decades.
The Divas group’s ultimate goal is to offer a full scholarship at some point, Shade said.
“What I love about YTI is they gear toward individuals who are going out and getting a job. Start your own shop,” she said. “It’s a super stellar program right here in Central Pennsylvania and I don’t think people realize how good it is.”