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April 19, 2007

Latissa Jones Named GOAL Winner at Gwinnett Tech


Latissa Jones, a culinary arts student at Gwinnett Tech, has been named the 2007 Gwinnett Tech winner of the Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL).

The Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE) sponsors the statewide GOAL program, which recognizes and rewards excellence among technical college students.

Jones, 40, was honored for her dedication to her studies, combined with her work ethic, classroom presence and well-rounded persona.

"GOAL, since its inception, recognizes outstanding dedicated students in technical education," said Gwinnett Tech's Culinary Arts Program Director Chef Kerri Crean, who nominated Jones. "Latissa Jones is that dedicated student. She is a can-do person, a forward thinker who anticipates situations and provides workable solutions before problems arise. She's an excellent role model for going the extra mile."

Circumstances that would make most people give up only seem to make Jones more determined to succeed. It's a trait that has served Jones well during her life and part of what earned her the GOAL award.

Jones used to drive the 90-mile round-trip commute to Gwinnett Tech. That was before her car died and she started taking three separate county transportation systems to get to her culinary arts classes at the Lawrenceville-based college, a two-hour trek to and from her home in Jonesboro.

In true Jones fashion, though, she says the extended bus commute gives her "lots of study time."

Jones, laid off from her previous position in the banking industry, used that time to evaluate her life and career. "It's time to take care of my passion," she said. She knew that passion was culinary arts, researched her options and decided on Gwinnett Tech.

"Even though the commute is long, I compared all schools with culinary arts programs and talked to instructors - and decided that Gwinnett Tech had the new, more advanced equipment and technology, with instructors that still practice in the field," Jones said. "That sealed the deal for me. I knew my choice was Gwinnett Tech."

Jones will go on to compete in the statewide GOAL competition among finalists from the other 34 technical colleges across Georgia. As nominees move through an interview process at the state GOAL competition, a screening committee selects the winning GOAL student. This student will serve as an ambassador for technical education in Georgia. He or she will make public appearances throughout the year including addresses to the Georgia General Assembly, the Governor, the Legislative Breakfast and the Georgia Technical College System Leadership Conference.

In addition to her studies at Gwinnett Tech, Jones is the owner and operator of Rawsome Foods, which specializes in the healing and preventative properties of eating raw and living foods, and teaching her five home-schooled children, ages 5 to 16. She and her husband are expecting their sixth child this summer.

For more information on Gwinnett Tech's GOAL award program, call 770-962-7580.

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About Gwinnett Tech
Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of the region it serves. The college offers more than 50 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. Gwinnett Tech's service area includes Gwinnett and North Fulton counties. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visit

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

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