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Hall County student named GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler presents a plaque to Hall County’s KayLynn Samples, recognizing her as the GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year.

Hall County’s KayLynn Samples graduated from Chestatee High School in May with a keen understanding of the soft skills that will make her successful in the workforce, thanks to GeorgiaBEST, the Georgia Department of Labor’s (GDOL) soft skills certification program.

Last week, Samples was recognized as the GeorgiaBEST Student of the Year by State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler and the Georgia State Employer Committee during their annual conference in Savannah. The Brenau University freshman received a $1,000 scholarship and special plaque for her honors.

“GeorgiaBEST is a very stringent program designed to ensure that our future workforce is prepared for the challenges ahead of them as they transition from high school to the work world,” Commissioner Butler said. “KayLynn is the perfect example of the success of GeorgiaBEST. I appreciate her commitment to the program as a high school senior. I also appreciate the State Employer Committee for sponsoring the scholarship for the top student in GeorgiaBEST.”

Samples was one of more than 5,000 students receiving GeorgiaBEST Soft Skills certification from the GDOL this year. She set herself apart from the other state finalists in her essay on the importance of soft skills, her resume, letters of recommendation and write-ups of numerous awards earned throughout her senior year.

“GeorgiaBEST has helped prepare me to face tomorrow with a confident and committed attitude that will propel me to excellence,” Samples said. “GeorgiaBEST is a soft skills program which teaches personal attributes that enhance an individual’s interactions, job performance and career prospects for the future upon completion.

“Soft skills affect one’s ability to do their job well, work with others and chart their own success for how far they take their career ambitions,” she continued. “I feel I am much better prepared to enter the workforce because of being involved in the GeorgiaBEST soft skills program.”

She listed attitude and communication as two of the most important soft skills today.

Samples is studying mass communications with an emphasis on broadcasting and public relations at Brenau University in Gainesville.

GeorgiaBEST was implemented by Butler and the GDOL in January 2012. The program, which will be in nearly 200 high schools this school year, is designed to prepare Georgia’s future workforce to meet the challenges ahead of them and create a more prepared workforce in Georgia. More than 8,000 students participated in GeorgiaBEST last year, and over 5,065 received certification. Every school nominates one state finalist for Student of the Year.