Award-Winning Greater Irvine Chamber Career Edge Program Issues First-Ever Certification

Published on April 26, 2022


The award-winning Career Edge program has issued its first-ever soft-skills certification to seven students from high schools in Irvine who successfully completed all four sessions of the 2021-2022 series. At the conclusion of the series in April, graduates of the program also earned a letter of completion & recommendation from the Greater Irvine Chamber.

The sessions offered were: Successful Business Etiquette and Effective Business Communication taught by Massiel Pérez-Calhoon, Ed.D., adjunct faculty at University of Massachusetts Global; and Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving taught by Edward R. De La Torre, Ed.D., assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Global. The final session, Resume Writing & Mock Interviews, was facilitated by Pepper Russell, senior manager, Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Development, who oversees workforce development programs at the Chamber.

Completing all four sessions of this series are juniors and seniors at high schools in Irvine: Aminah Shaikh, Chelsea Won, David Truong, Isa Kadri, Monica Pal, Neil Pal, and Varin Gupta.

“Programs like Career Edge help prepare students for early career success and provide employers with workers who have the needed soft skills that are often supplemental to what is taught in the classroom. It’s a win-win,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This program is made possible by volunteers who give generously of their time and expertise.”

Volunteer Mentors for the 2021-2022 Career Edge include:

  • Robert Adamik, HR management, founder, RJ Adamik & Associates
  • Al Batinga, founder, Digitized Learning
  • Katy Curameng, director of Career Planning and Development, UMass Global
  • Thomas Lotts, owner, The Lotts Agency
  • Brian Montes, founder, Scaleocity Works
  • Dr. Glenn Roquemore, CEO, Roquemore Higher Education Consultants, LLC
  • Stephanie Ho-Nga Wong, founder, Emerge to Illuminate

Career Edge is a collaboration with the Greater Irvine Chamber, Google, Irvine Valley College, Vital Link, and the business community to help better prepare today's students for tomorrow's jobs. Students that participate in Career Edge will have an advantage during their job search and will bring distinctive and marketable skills to the jobs they land, greatly increasing their success rate and on-the-job performance.

Since the program began in 2016, Career Edge has served more than 500 students from across Southern California.

For more information on Career Edge and to serve as a volunteer mentor, contact Pepper Russell.