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Monica Perez

Friday, May 06, 2022

Monica Perez, a graduate of Kiamichi Technology Centers - Poteau Campus, recently received the Outstanding Student/Graduate Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

Perez was one of 17 Oklahomans honored, along with three businesses and organizations, at the 28th annual Making It Work Day at the Capitol in a virtual ceremony May 6. Making It Work Day recognizes individuals who are committed to removing barriers to success for single-parent families by providing educational experiences for students beyond the classroom. The ceremony also recognized nontraditional students.

Perez entered the Carl Albert State College Power I program in September 2019 with a plan to earn phlebotomist technician certification, said Karen Ford, Power I program specialist, who nominated Perez for the award.

Perez completed the Kiamichi Tech phlebotomy course and earn her certificate of competency in December 2019. She earned another certificate in December 2020 to become a National Health Career Association certified phlebotomy technician. Although she started Power I with limited computer skills, Ford said, she earned a certificate of technical skills in December 2019 also.

“It was a privilege to have Monica in the classroom,” Ford said. “She was always friendly and a good example to the other students; a determined student and helped create a positive learning environment.”

Perez began working at Baptist Health in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in January 2020 and has kept in contact with Power I, Ford said.

“She has worked countless hours on the front line of this pandemic on the COVID floor at the hospital,” Ford said. “Her strength and determination are an example to everyone because she did not quit and is still working at this time.”

OkCTEEC is affiliated with the administrative division of the Oklahoma Association of Career and Technology Education. The council advocates for students pursuing nontraditional careers and for resources for educating single parents.

“OkCTEEC is always privileged to honor those who have chosen a career path that is nontraditional and those individuals or partners who have assisted them in their quest,” said KayTee Niquette, Work Prep and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families coordinator at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. “This year is a transitional year that everyone seems to be working through, so students and others have been doing an exceptional job meeting in person and through a hybrid model.”

She serves as an adviser for OkCTEEC, along with Lisa French of the Department of Human Services and Gina McPherson of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“All of us continue to navigate through the continuing pandemic, facing new challenges each and every day,” said Kelly Vinson, OkCTEEC president and director of Project Achieve at Northern Oklahoma College. “Our students have shown tremendous strength and determination navigating through the many challenges they face along the way. It is a great honor to recognize these students, who have excelled and are continuing to reach their goals.”

OkCTEEC’s purposes include promoting and supporting career and technology education, increasing its effectiveness, promoting research in the field and in educational equity, developing leadership and advocating for equity and diversity.

For more information about OkCTEEC, visit For more information about the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education, visit

Last Modified on May 06, 2022
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