|MONROE TOWNSHIP - The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) today held its annual high school commencement ceremony at the New Jersey Training School (NJTS) in Monroe Township. Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa addressed the graduates. Darrell L. Armstrong, Pastor, Shiloh Baptist Church was the keynote speaker. Kevin M. Brown, Acting Executive Director of the JJC, presented the graduates with their high school diplomas or General Equivalency Degrees (GED) issued by their local school districts or the State. An additional 110 students received their diplomas or GEDs over the course of the year and have since been released from JJC supervision.
All graduates have met the high school graduation requirements set forth by the New Jersey Department of Education. The JJC coordinates each student’s curricula with his or her home school to allow the student to receive a diploma from his or her local education authority. Students receiving their degrees today are assigned to the NJTS, Juvenile Medium Security Facility (JMSF), the Female Secure and Intake Facility, and several of the JJC’s residential community homes, day programs and transitional programs located throughout the state.
“Graduation is a milestone for every student – one that results from of a lot of hard work and dedication. I commend each of the young men and women who received their degrees today. We are not giving you a diploma, you have earned it,” said Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. “As you end one chapter of your lives and begin another, I encourage you to be creative as you write the chapters ahead of you. Your degree brings with it respect and responsibility. It is up you to make the most of it.”
“The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission has a challenging job - to turn around the lives of troubled young people and provide them with the tools they need to succeed. A high school diploma or a GED is not simply a piece of paper,” said Acting Executive Director Kevin M. Brown. “Whether these graduates choose to continue to pursue academic studies at the college level, focus on vocational and technical training, or begin preparing to enter the job market, a degree provides students with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that will help them succeed throughout their lives.”
Christine Henderson Rose, Somerset County Youth Services Commission Administrator and Richard Seitz, Ocean County Youth Services Commission Administrator, Co-chairs of the New Jersey Association of County Youth Services Commission Administrators presented eight graduates with awards recognizing their improvement in the following areas; Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Science, Art, Career and Technical Education, World Languages and GED Score. Each recipient received $25.00 and a certificate of recognition awarded by the association.
The Juvenile Justice Commission’s Office of Education serves as the “school district” for all JJC programs as well as county juvenile detention centers. The Office of Education provides an appropriate and comprehensive educational program specific to each youth, while promoting opportunities for positive growth and development. The goal of the JJC educational program is to prepare students for continued learning and workforce preparation by offering a wide-range of challenging academic and career-technical experiences that meet the needs of both special education and regular education students.
In addition to academics, the Office of Education provides Career and Technical programs of study that prepare students for high skill, high wage or high demand occupations. The Commission offers a variety of programming including: Applied Horticulture Sciences, Culinary Arts with Safe Serve Certification, Graphic Arts, Computer Applications with various certifications, EKG training and certification, Plumbing and Pipefitting.