Wind River Job Corps had over 60 graduates at Aug. 27 ceremony

(Riverton, WY) – On Friday, Aug. 27, the Wind River Job Corps center located in Riverton, Wyoming, conducted a virtual graduation ceremony for 61 graduates, complete with a cap-and-gown student procession, inspirational advice and student addresses.

The ceremony was viewed by an estimated 100 participants including past students and family, current students and staff, as well as Wyoming’s congressional representatives and members of the Wyoming community.

To view the ceremony in its entirety, click here, with passcode: JcVpKgh3.

Center Director Dr. Kristen Benson was the master of ceremonies, and went on to introduce Lyn Pinnick, from Alternate Perspectives, the center’s operational contractor for the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

Ms. Pinnick spoke about the challenges of graduates searching for jobs in the early days of the pandemic-induced economic shutdown, of the culture-shifting impact of distance learning, and unpredictable delays in center-based training resumption.

“Despite everything Covid threw at you, you displayed perseverance and reached for success,” Pinnick stated. “Take the strength you forged this past year into your future.”

The remarkable nature of obtaining a job-focused technical education this past year was the theme presented by Dr. Jennifer Wild, API’s President and CEO.

“You alone have done something that no other student in the entire 57 year history of the nation’s Job Crops, has done before. You have completed your training, and graduated, in the midst of a global pandemic,” Wild commented. “The tenacity you have shown will serve you well through your entire life.”

Quoting an Edgar Guest poem, she then encouraged students to “Tackle that thing that can not be done, and go do it.”

Dr. Benson then introduced the Keynote speaker, John Ferrelli, CEO of SageWest Lander and Riverton.

John Ferrelli, CEO of SageWest in Lander and Riverton, offered Wind River Job Corps graduates advice at the Aug. 27 virtual graduation. h/t Wind River Job Corps photo.

Mr. Ferrelli spoke of his life-long dream of being a doctor, and how at college completion, he was devastated to learn it was a dream that would not be, at least not in that fashion. But by keeping an open mind, and venturing into open doors, new dreams are found and flourish.

Ferrelli said for him, “Life has been a series of adventures, but life also comes with adversity. The challenge is not how you deal with your successes, but how you face adversity.”

He implored students to embrace opportunities as the gift that they are, to welcome challenges, and when faced with adversity, “fight like hell.”

Student speakers Jacob Loomis (heavy equipment operator and truck driving student) and Lisaira DeLuna (heavy equipment mechanic and truck driving student) took to the podium next.

Jacob thanked the staff and instructors at Wind River Job Corps, going on to say that Job Corps has given him “the tools to succeed and make a better life for me and my family.”

Graduation student speaker Jacob Loomis thanked Wind River Job Corps for helping him attain the skills that will shape the future for him and his family. Jacob is the father to a 4-year old girl. h/t Wind River Job Corps photo.

Lisaira told students how proud she was of all of their efforts, and that they “managed to stay motivated and persevere.”

Lisaira DeLuna Munoz is able to tear the tracks off this dozer and replace them. She completed her training as a heavy equipment mechanic, as well as truck driver, and will begin her career as a diesel mechanic with FedEx Freight in Henderson, Colorado. h/t Wind River Job Corps photo.

She is encouraged to see more females training in male dominated trades, and by how that will impact future generations.

Her advice to current students was, “If you really want it, take a leap of faith. You can do it.”

Wind River Job Corps staff, Scott Belscher, instructor and Jennifer Foos, student scheduler, jump in on Lisaira DeLuna Munoz’s graduation photos. h/t Wind River Job Corps photo.

Wind River Job Corps staff Patricia Granlund, programs director, Meagan Mosbrucker, academics manager and Paul Calonge, petroleum instructor presented the graduates, whose names are listed below alphabetically, within their chosen trades.

Dr. Benson then presented a “year in review” music video that showed the students and extraordinary measures Wind River Job Corps experienced.

The meeting was brought to a close with the traditional, albeit virtual imaginary, movement of the tassel, signifying the change from student to graduate.


Blanca Campos
Worland, WY
Grad Date: 5/27/2021
Working: Operating Engineers in Casper, WY

Jamielynn Mazurek
Colorado Springs, CO
Grad Date: 8/25/2020
Advanced Training: HVAC, Westover, MA
Working: WireNut Home Services, Colorado Springs, CO

Arnel J Musgrave
Salida, CO
Grad Date: 8/5/2021
Working: ADK Electric Corp, Wyoming & Colorado

Dani Nelsen
Brighton, CO
Grad Date: 4/12/2021
Advanced Training: Photo Voltaic (Solar) at Earle C. Clements Job Corps
Working: Kimbel Mechanical Systems, Fayetteville, AR

Eduardo Perez
Westminster, CO
Grad Date: 6/3/2021
Working: Apartment Management Consultants, Aurora, CO
Rylee Ronstadt from Lubbock, TX
Grad Date: September 2021
Joining: US Army

Tanner Vanderploeg
Kersey, CO
Grad Date: September 2021
Joining: US Army


Xavier Jones
Aurora, CO
Grad Date: 5/06/2021
Working: E & K Construction, Denver, CO

Gabe Richins
Clinton, UT
Grad Date: 8/23/2021
Working: Apprenticeship for Daw Construction Group, Draper, UT

Dartanion J Rosendahl
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 4/8/21
Working: Upright Construction, Riverton, WY

Brandon Smith
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 8/05/2021
Working: TDS Construction, Casper, WY

Samson Tewelde
Boulder, CO
Grad Date: 4/22/2021
Working: E & K Construction, Denver, CO


Dylan Baxter
Hanna, WY
Grad Date: September, 2021

Tyler Brewer
Fountain, CO
Grad Date: 6/22/20
Dairy Queen, Fountain, CO

Nicolas Colombo Garcia
Colorado Springs, CO
Grad Date: 4/19/2021
Advanced Training: HVAC, Westover, MA

Evan Guillen
Rock Springs, WY
Grad Date: 12/4/20
Working: Smith’s Food & Drug Store, Rock Springs, WY

Joseph Herrera
Commerce City, CO
Grad Date: 9/10/20
Working: Tint Logistics, Littleton, CO

Jaycob Long
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 11/17/20
Working: Hoffman Electric, Riverton, WY

Jonah Michaels
Powell, WY
Grad Date: September, 2021


Lisaira DeLuna Munoz
Thornton, CO
Grad Date: 9/4/21
Double-trade with Heavy Truck Driving (Class A & B)
Working: FedEx Freight, Henderson, CO

Michael Huntington
Littleton, CO
Grad Date: 6/14/2021
Double-trade with Truck Driving, CDL A
Advanced Training: Toyota 10, Clearfield Job Corps, UT

Kristine Silveira
Casper, WY
Grad Date: 6/01/2021
Working: Prototek Manufacturing, Contoocook, NH

Brendan Small
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: September 2021


Broderick Bell
Rock Springs, WY
Grad Date: 1/13/21
Continuing education at Western Wyoming Community College, Rock Springs, WY

Nicholas Finnegan
Lee Summit, MO
Grad Date: 5/06/2021
Working: KR Swerdfeger Construction, Pueblo, CO

Joe Hawkins
Bend, OR
Grad Date: 6/14/2021
Advanced Training in Transportation at Excelsior Springs Job Corps, MO

Travis Johnson
Akron, CO
Grad Date: 5/06/2021
Working: Coggins & Sons, Foundation Contractors, Littleton, CO

James Levenhagen
Denver, CO
Grad Date: 6/23/20
Working: KR Swerdfeger Construction, Pueblo, CO

Jacob Loomis
Henderson, CO
Grad Date: 9/4/21
Double-trade with Heavy Truck Driving (CDL A & B)
Working: Henderson, CO

Efrain Rivero
Amarillo, TX
Grad Date: 6/18/2021
Working: Deeds Construction, Amarillo, TX

Hailey Smith
Rawlins, WY
Grad Date: 10/26/20
Working: C.J. Mahan Construction, Grove City, OH

Juan Valdez
Cheyenne, WY
Grad Date: 4/17/21
Working: L & W Supply, Cheyenne, WY

Martin Velasquez
Powell, WY
Grad Date: 06/08/2021
Working: Mountain Construction Company, Lovell, WY


Tanisha Begay
Dennehotso, AZ
Grad Date: 9/4/21
Working: Hilton, Longmont, CO

Selene Carrion Loredo
Las Vegas, NV
Grad Date: 6/03/2021
Working: Cricket Wireless, Las Vegas

Liliana Gates
Westminster, CO
Grad Date: 5/27/2021
Working: Hilton, Longmont, CO

Alina Heim
Colorado Springs, CO
Grad Date: 8/21/2021
Working: Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Co

Moncerrat Naranjo Salazar
Taylorsville, UT
Grad Date: 2/23/21
Working two jobs: United Parcel Service and Smith’s Foods, Utah

MEDICAL TRADE, CWC Certification:

Saraih Esparza
Longmont, CO
Grad Date: 6/22/20
Working: King Soopers, Longmont, CO

Valeria Ivanchenko
Aurora, CO
Grad Date: 6/29/20
Working: YG Dental Tech, Denver, CO

Skylor Smith
Westcliffe, CO
Grad Date: 5/06/2021
Working: Community Health Centers of Central Wyoming
Riverton, WY


Leroy Bella
Denver, CO
Grad Date: 12/21/20
Working: Fleet Logix, Aurora, CO

Tamika Casey
Towoac, CO
Grad Date: 5/14/2021
Working: FedEx Freight, Salt Lake City, UT

Tarren Friday
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 3/12/20
Working: Sacred Children’s Program of Northern Arapaho, Araphoe, WY

Kimberlie Hazelett
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 11/17/20
Working: Riverton Laundromat and Cleaners, Riverton, WY

Larry Woolard
Webster City, IA
Grad Date: 4/18/2021
Working: Hyvee Foods, Iowa


Sedrick Adams
Baton Rouge, LA
Grad Date: 7/10/2021
Joined US Military (Air Force)

Jason Cook
Avondale, LA
Grad Date: 6/08/2021

Derrick L. Johnson, Jr.
Converse, TX
Grad Date: 6/08/2021
Working: Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, Riverton, WY

Raheem Main
Ft. Belknap, MT
Grad Date: 11/05/2020

Robert Matson
Parker, CO
Grad Date: 12/21/20
Joined US Army

David Rocheleau
Hopkinton, NH
Grad Date: 7/27/2020
Working: Concord, New Hampshire

George Thomas III
Baton Rouge, LA
Grad Date: 7/04/2021
Working: Fed Ex Freight, Arizona

Meleni Varela
Katy, TX
Grad Date: 7/30/2021
Working: StaffMark, Houston, TX

(Students earn both commercial licenses to drive Class A and B vehicles.)

Ronald Bowstring
Riverton, WY
Grad Date: 3/13/20
Working: Northern Arapaho Tribe, Arapahoe, WY

Damarlo Brown
Donaldsville, LA
Grad Date: 10/26/20
Working: Schneider Trucking, Houston, TX

Matthew Camper
Converse, Tx
Grad Date: 8/07/2021
Double trade with Petroleum Technician
Working: Transverse America, IN

Treylin Demuchest
Katy, TX
Grad Date: 3/12/20
Working: Jasay Elite Trucking, Houston, TX
Angela Green from Sweet Home, OR
Grad Date: 5/27/2021

Tyler Potvin
Anaconda, MT
Grad Date: 2/8/21
Working: Builders First Source, Anaconda, MT

Kevin Young
Lubbock, TX
Grad Date: 6/17/2021
Working: Swift Trucking, Houston, TX


Nathaniel Kiraly
Windsor, CO
Grad Date: 3/04/2021
Working: Professional Piping Services, Phoenix, Arizona

Juwan Oates
Johnstown, CO
Grad Date: 3/16/20
Working: High Country Pipe and Utility, Johnstown, CO

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