Summer youth are exposed to a variety of DCRA functions.

Summer youth are exposed to a variety of DCRA functions.

The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs summer works program kicked off this week with a superior start. On Monday, the summer youth were greeted with an orientation that introduced DCRA and the participating staff. Preceding the orientation, the summer youth were familiarized with the DCRA’s building. Each youth received identification and kastle cards. Kastle cards are keys that grant access to employee only zones throughout the building. Summer youth employees had been divided into groups such as permit operations/zoning and superior, HR/support services, information technology, chief of staff/communication, office of the general counsel, enforcement and inspections apprentice just to name a few. Groups are dispersed through the building and in the field fulfilling daily assignments such as filing papers, signing off permits, working in the field, interviewing peers and co-workers, answering telephones, building customer service skills and gaining general knowledge of the workforce.

On Tuesday, summer youth employees were eager and ready to work. I had the opportunity to interview several youths about the program. I learned that many summer youth employees appreciate and cherish the opportunity to work with DCRA. Youth employee Jason Barnes is excited about his information technology experience and DeAngelo Goldston enjoys working with support services and wants to become a permanent employee. Throughout the week summer, youth will became more familiarized with their assignments, co-workers, and team coordinators which gives the summer youth employees the ability to excel in their work performance.

The week ended with a huge success. This Friday and every Friday for the

The session for the young ladies was very powerful.

The session for the young ladies was very powerful.

duration of the summer program, DCRA’s Kristina Swann and Tania Williams have created a professional development session to empower the summer youths. This particular session was broken down into three sessions. The young ladies of the summer program had an empowerment session with a panel of five successful women; Jillian Macklin, Linda K Argo (director of DCRA), Angela Reddis, Paula Darasaw and Benita Rice. Each young lady had the opportunity to introduce herself and her current goals of the future to the panel. The panel discussed important topics such as the importance of education, how important appearance is and never being afraid to start over. The young ladies had the opportunity to do a question and answer session with the panel. The young ladies asked question that would help them prepare for their future.

The young men’s session was also a success, their panel included five men. Twane Duckworth, Cyril Byron, Lionel Andre, D. Michael Bennett and Cesar Venice. The successful men talked to the young men to give encouragement

Members of DCRA's staff were the "models" in the fashion show.

Members of DCRA's staff were the "models" in the fashion show.

and assurance. The panel reminded the summer youth males that in life they would need skills, to be presentable, to master their task at hand and most importantly that education is critical. Speaker Cyril Byron recited a statement that I am sure will follow the young men “I am doing this for my bread and meat if I don’t do this I don’t eat”. The young men interacted well with the panel. The third session was a success; a fashion show was put together to give youth an idea of appropriate and inappropriate attire for work. Youth really had positive feedback and enjoyed the show. Youth worker Melvin Carter said the fashion show was hit and he found it comical, he also said that he anticipate profession development Friday’s so that he can wear his business attire. Overall the summer youth program at DCRA first week was a extremely successful week!

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