New Jersey Youth Corps Graduate 17 through Project Self-Sufficiency

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The Sussex County New Jersey Youth Corps recently awarded high school diplomas to students at a celebratory graduation ceremony at Project Self-Sufficiency.  The 16-week program offers education and training in preparation for the high school equivalency exam.  Commemorative photos, along with caps and gowns, were provided by Project Self-Sufficiency Board member Kathy Esposito and Legacy Studios.

Students from the program’s most recent graduating class will continue their education, join the workforce or enter the military.

“This innovative program offers young adults who might not have been successful in a traditional high school setting the opportunity to earn a high school diploma, get on-the-job training and receive essential support as they enter the next stage in their life,” explains Deborah Berry-Toon, Executive Director of Project Self-Sufficiency.  “We are proud to have been able to support these individuals as they move on to college, a career or military service.”

Through the New Jersey Youth Corps at Project Self-Sufficiency young adults can augment their literacy skills, prepare for the high school equivalency exam, obtain on-the-job work experience, and transition into a career, college or the military.  Participants must be Sussex or Warren County residents, aged 16 – 25, who have not completed high school.  In addition to classroom instruction, New Jersey Youth Corps participants take their learning on the road to wildlife preserves, social service agencies, state parks and other institutions where they assist with work projects and other tasks.

The curriculum includes assessments, testing, employability skills training, life skills workshops, academic instruction, community service projects, field trips, and counseling services.  Program participants prepare for the high school equivalency examination, and receive a stipend of $100 per week, based on attendance for the full week.  Free transportation is provided.  Childcare is also provided free of charge at the Little Sprouts Early Learning Center.  The 16-week program operates multiple times a year; enrollment is still open for the next session which begins March 9th.

The students who graduated from the Sussex County New Jersey Youth Corps at Project Self-Sufficiency included Joshua Corno, Angelina Daga, Emily Dagis, Frank Fasanello, Katelyn Green, Jaylin Leadum, Truley Miller, Jimmy Murillo, Christopher Novoa, Savannah Otero, Heather Randazzo, Camila Sanchez, Paul Toth, Joanna Travisano, Alexander Vejen, Shamar Williams, and Gianna Wilson.

“The dedication of the New Jersey Youth Corps staff and volunteers to the students in this program is unparalleled,” adds Berry-Toon.  “The time they take to work with each and every student makes this a unique educational experience and we are indebted to them for their commitment.”

Agency staff members who work with the New Jersey Youth Corps include Alayna Donadio, Julia Blodnik, Rebecka Green, Kyersten Geiger, Haley McCracken, Samantha Rigatti, Patrice Green, Dick Kowal, Elaine Angle, Michelle Michaluk, Tom Needhammer, Alice Prendergast, Jane Foerster and Matthew Berke.   Volunteers include Mary Belloff, George Estes, Shelly Ferguson, Gary Foerster, Vinny Franco, Lorraine Hannan, Peter Mahler, Mel Moscowitz, George Mosley, Gregg Nardozza, Tim Parker, Bonnie Puzio and Mary Rapuano.

The next cycle of the New Jersey Youth Corps at Project Self-Sufficiency will launch March 9, 2020.  Project Self-Sufficiency is offering a $100 gift card to those who refer young adults, ages 16 – 25, to the 16-week program.  To receive the gift card, referred individuals must enroll in the program, complete the two-week orientation and be inducted into the program.

The New Jersey Youth Corps, which is funded by the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development, is also in operation at sites around the state, including Camden, Elizabeth, Jersey City, New Brunswick, Newark, Paterson, Phillipsburg, Pleasantville, Trenton and Vineland.  To register for the Sussex County New Jersey Youth Corps, or to find out more about other programs and services offered by Project Self-Sufficiency, visit www.projectselfsufficiency.org or call 973-940-3500.

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