The Connecticut Junior Republic’s Waterbury Program is providing a six-week Work-Based Learning Summer Program for 40 at-risk and disadvantaged boys and girls, through grants of $26,700 from the American Savings Foundation and $7,000 from the Frederick Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.  The 2013 program includes vocational training in culinary arts, photography, horticulture and landscaping, and entrepreneurial skills development.  Participating boys and girls attend the program Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and work in one of the four study areas.  The Marzahl Memorial Fund grant is specifically funding 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 utilize an entrepreneurship model to develop specific “products” associated with culinary arts, photography and horticulture and landscaping.  A fourth entrepreneurial development class works with the other program components to market these products and develop promotional materials.  Assigned teams work together on projects and develop specific skill sets relevant to the four job areas, and all students are paid stipends for their participation in the program. 

Youngsters in the culinary class cater 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 and serve a luncheon for nearly 200 guests and volunteers at the Connecticut Junior Republic Litchfield Campus as a part of the 66th Annual Open House Day Tour on July 13. 

The horticulture and landscaping class has created an herb 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 is also working on community beautification including weeding and clean up along Prospect, Linden and Grove Streets.  

The photography class is documenting the efforts of the other classes and producing a summer yearbook.  Student photographs may also be used in CJR’s publications, including the Junior Citizen newsletter and annual report.   

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 their generous grants and continuing support of the Work-Based Learning Summer Program in Waterbury. 

“These grants enable at-risk adolescents who are associated with CJR’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to have a productive and educational work experience and to maintain the gains they have made during the school year through enrollment in a highly-structured, strength-based summer program,” he said. “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 will conclude on Friday, August 2, with a special awards luncheon for participants and their families

“It’s hard for teenagers to see a future that includes them,” said David Davison, president & CEO of American Savings Foundation.  “CJR gives young people a chance to succeed, to develop self-respect, and to believe in a positive future for themselves.  We invest in CJR because they know how to reach these kids and get them back on track.  It’s a great program,” he said.

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 nearly $38 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 and is administered by the Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.  

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides residential and community-based care, treatment, education and family support programs 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 continuum of services helps more than 1,500 boys, girls and families annually in eleven locations throughout Connecticut.

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 and grants from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), 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: