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Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center

Friday, May 06, 2022

Palomar: Oklahoma City’s Family Justice Center recently received the Outstanding Community Partner/Agency Award from the Oklahoma Career and Technical Education Equity Council.

The center was one of three Oklahoma businesses and organizations honored, along with 17 individuals, 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.

With a network of 38 partner agencies, Palomar provides free and confidential assistance to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, trafficking and elder abuse. It serves “as the very caring, efficient and productive resource hub for all of the services that our single parents need when leaving domestic violence situations,” said Julie Johnson, Career Transitions employment coach at Oklahoma City Community College, who nominated it for the award.

“Although Palomar assists many of our students before they become our students, Palomar continues to help whenever they are needed as our student move forward toward happier futures,” Johnson added.

For example, she said, Charlotte Clayton and Judy Payne of Palomar have hosted and supervised three Career Transitions interns and have spoken to students about what they do and how it relates to what the students are doing to learn the skills they need for their futures.

“Students who come to us through Palomar, or who go through Palomar while they are in our program, tell us that the calm, protection, kindness, warmth, compassion and guidance give to them at Palomar allows them to breathe and begin planning a real future,” Johnson said.

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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