Tyson Foods is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its on-site education program, Upward Academy. The program provides educational opportunities, at no cost, to frontline team members to help build a strong workforce and strong communities. Locally, Tyson has partnered with Eastern Shore Community College to bring this program to the Temperanceville facility, where it has its own advocate for building a stronger workforce and community.

Saintise Philippi, a translator at the Temperanceville Tyson facility, has been a major asset to the program since it first launched in 2019. In her role at Tyson, Saintise translates between Haitian team members and clerks, managers, and medical staff, and assists with HR.

Saintise committed to continuing her education by first enrolling in the US Citizenship course. She proudly passed her citizenship test in August 2019, complete with a cake and celebration from her Upward Academy instructors and classmates. She acknowledges the impact Upward Academy had on her becoming a US citizen.

“Working for Tyson is a great opportunity. This job allows me to talk to other team members and understand their wants and needs” said Saintise. “It was a joy for me to stay late and go to classes after working a full day.”

Understanding just how valuable the program is, Saintise does everything she can to ensure her fellow team members take part. She’s been known to coordinate carpools and personally drive colleagues to and from the facility for class, stay late to shepherd teammates to class, and even sits in classes she isn’t enrolled in to serve as an example. She’s been such an asset to the consistent success of the program that Amy Shockley, Program Manager of Adult Education at ESCC, calls her the ‘principal’ and says, “We could not have done this without Saintise. Her translations helped with enrollment and testing, the support we had from her was huge.”

For its part, Tyson adds to the motivation with a paid day off for each completed course. “With its educational programs, and the paid day off, Tyson shows that it focuses on its people. I’m smiling every day because of Tyson,” said Saintise.