The Connecticut Junior Republic’s Waterbury Program provided a six-week work-based learning summer program for 40 at-risk and disadvantaged boys and girls, through grants of $26,700 and $4,393 from the American Savings Foundation and $7,000 from the Frederick Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. The 2012 program included vocational training in culinary arts, video production and publications, horticulture and landscaping, and entrepreneurial skills development. Participating boys and girls attended the program Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and worked in one of the four study areas. The Marzahl Memorial Fund grant specifically funded the culinary arts component of the work-based learning summer program.
All students began the program with a standardized application and interview process for various positions to learn skills in resume development, interviewing and employment readiness. Each of the four study areas utilized an entrepreneurship model to develop specific “products” associated with culinary arts, video production and publications, and horticulture and landscaping. The entrepreneurial development class worked with the other program components to market these products and develop promotional materials. Assigned teams worked together on projects and developed specific skill sets relevant to the four job areas, and all students were paid stipends for their participation in the program.
Youngsters in the culinary class catered lunches on a daily basis for CJR programs and dinners for girls enrolled in CJR’s residential Center for Assessment, Respite and Enrichment (CARE) Program. They also helped cater a luncheon for approximately 200 guests and volunteers at the Connecticut Junior Republic as a part of the 65th Annual Open House Day Tour of Litchfield on July 14. The horticulture and landscaping class has created a flower and vegetable garden on the grounds of the Junior Republic’s Waterbury facility at 80 Prospect Street. Produce will be harvested through September and given to families in need, soup kitchens and non-profit organizations. The class also worked on community improvement, weeding and collecting garbage along Prospect, Linden and Grove Streets. The video class produced two public service announcements on animal cruelty, one on drunk driving and one on the Amber Alert Program for Missing Children. These will be aired on Channel 16. The class also created a magazine on careers with special focus on successful entrepreneurs.
The American Savings Foundation’s 2012 grant of $4,393 provided a summer work experience for an American Savings Foundation Scholarship recipient. This grant enabled CJR to hire Anaise Prince as a summer program assistant. An Interdisciplinary Studies major who recently received her Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from the University of Connecticut. Ms. Prince resides in East Hartford and plans to open a photography studio.
As a part of her internship, Ms. Prince’s responsibilities with CJR worked with students in the work-based learning summer program, and assisting teen participants in creating a career magazine with focus on highly successful entrepreneurs. “This position enabled me to work with children who are struggling with many issues and to gain insight and perspective on programs, early intervention and prevention, and how these services can help them be successful,” she stated. “The internship also allowed me to build on my experience tutoring and teaching children and to bring my skills in team-building to CJR’s summer program,” she said.
CJR Executive Director Daniel W. Rezende expressed gratitude to the American Savings Foundation and the Frederick Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, for these generous grants and for their extended support of CJR’s work-based learning summer program in Waterbury.
“The Junior Republic is honored by the sustained support of American Savings Foundation and the Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund,” he stated. “These grants support our efforts to help high-risk adolescents who are associated with CJR’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program maintain the gains they have made during the school year through enrollment in a highly-structured, strength-based summer program,” he continued. “This experience provides continuity over the summer and helps students develop practical skills that will facilitate their growth as responsible and contributing participants in the classroom, in their homes and eventually, in the workplace,” he noted. The work-based learning summer program began at the end of June and concluded on Friday, August 10.
The American Savings Foundation is an independent charitable foundation dedicated to strengthening the community by supporting education, human services, and the arts, with special emphasis on the needs of children, youth and families, through grants to community organizations and college scholarships. Since its inception in 1995, the Foundation has contributed more than $36 million in total grants and scholarships in its 64-town service area.
The Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund was established in 1974 to support and promote quality education, human services and health care programming for underserved populations in the Woodbury area, administered by the Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.
Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they can become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities. Today, the organization’s combined programs serve more than 1,200 boys and girls annually in ten locations throughout Connecticut.
The Junior Republic conducts a residential program for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus. Special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut through CJR’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center which is located on its Litchfield campus. Transition and related services are also provided.
CJR also provides residential care for boys at its group homes in East Hartford and Winchester and short-term, residential crisis intervention for girls at its Center for Assessment, Respite and Enrichment (CARE) in Waterbury. A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive home-based services, and aftercare, are provided for boys and girls through CJR’s offices in Danbury, East Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Torrington and Waterbury (two sites).
A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) of the Connecticut Judicial Branch, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut’s public schools. For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.