Summer Youth Volunteer Program Celebrates Five Years
James Stewart, Assistant Director, Division of Revenue; Patricia Griffin, State Court Administrator; Kierra Jenkins, Summer Youth Volunteer; Robin Jenkins, Manager, Support Services (AOC); Patrick Carter, Director, Division of Revenue; and Barbara Banks, Division of Revenue, at the SYVP farewell ceremony.
Established in 2009 by Robin Jenkins, Manager of Support Services at the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), the Summer Youth Volunteer Program (SYVP) celebrated its fifth successful year this past summer. For six weeks, SYVP pairs participating courts and state agencies with young Delawareans (many of whom are in the State's foster care system) seeking work experience. A first time participant to the program, the Court of Chancery noted that "it was an absolute pleasure working with these bright and very talented youth. The Summer Youth Program gets our 5 Star Approval rating," Neith D. Ecker, Court of Chancery Chief Realtime Court Reporter.
The youth perform a variety of tasks that can include filing, scanning documents, data entry, or software installation. Kierra Jenkins has volunteered with the program since its inception and had the opportunity to work in the law library and the Superior Court's Investigative Services. "Overall, this program has taught me punctuality, responsibility, how to conduct myself in a professional atmosphere and how to interact with others" stated Kierra. But it was the people she met during the program that impacted Kierra the most. In her third year, she met a fellow volunteer, a sixteen year old pregnant girl, who worked steadily and without complaint. As the summer wore on, it became apparent that this girl had no real family; by the end of the six weeks, however, "being part of the program showed her and the rest of us that we had certainly become a family."
To conclude the summer experience, the AOC staged a presentation of the Dos and Don'ts of Interviewing. This was an opportunity for the youth to learn how to translate practical experience into resume material and interview talking points that would enhance their ability to enter the job market. The importance of proper demeanor and comportment were stressed in a presentation by James Wright, AOC Deputy State Court Administrator, and mock interviews staged by AOC volunteers. Best practices for writing a resume, which included tailoring the resume to the job and keeping it concise, were presented by Jean Butler, Ed.D. Sergeant Michael Hertzfeld of the Delaware Capitol Police explained the importance of a constructive social media presence and privacy settings as employers now view online postings to gain an impression of a candidate. Discussions were lively and questions thoughtful as the students engaged with the various speakers and participated in mock interviews. The SYVP concluded with a mock trial presentation and a farewell ceremony.
Sharon Jenkins, volunteer with the program, and Shayron Jenkins and Chantel Jenkins, summer youth volunteers, at the SYVP farewell ceremony.
The AOC would like to welcome the Delaware Department of Revenue to the program and thank them for their participation. In addition, a special thank you to the following for their continued support of the program: Colonial Parking; Herbert Casalena; Dunkin' Donuts; GA Blanco & Sons, Inc.; the Ladies of Dover and Dover Elk Lodge No. 1903; the Newark Lodge No. 2261; PepsiCo; Rodney Grille; ShopRite; Season's Pizza; Frances Crenshaw; Karen Barns; Buena Denise Anthony; Sandra Snider; Maria Perez-Chambers; participating courts and agencies; and the many individuals from the AOC, courts, and agencies who gave their time and effort to make this another successful year for the Summer Youth Volunteer Program.