MONROE TOWNSHIP - The New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) held its annual high school commencement ceremony today at the New Jersey Training School (NJTS) in Monroe Township. The JJC’s school year includes five marking periods which concludes at the end of August. NFL tight end and former wide receiver for Rutgers University, Timothy Wright, delivered the keynote address. Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino, Kevin M. Brown, Executive Director of the JJC, and Tremaine Harrison, Director of Education, presented the graduates with their high school diplomas or High School Equivalency Diplomas (HSED). In addition to the 65 students participating in the commencement ceremony, 27 students received their diplomas or HSEDs earlier and have since been released from JJC supervision or did not participate in the ceremony.
Keynote speaker Timothy Wright played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Super Bowl XLIX Championship New England Patriots, and currently plays for the Detroit Lions but is on the team’s injured/reserve due to an injury. In 2015, Mr. Wright launched the Wright Way Foundation and the Wright Way Academy which provides athletic and academic instruction and support for underprivileged children and youth. Mr. Wright is a proud New Jerseyan and recently opened a barber shop on the Livingston campus of his alma mater called the 'Wright Cut'.
“Today, as 65 graduates receive their high school diplomas, we not only recognize the significant academic achievements of these students, but we join with their families, friends and teachers in celebrating their personal growth. Because today is not only about grades, but is about making the right decisions,” said Attorney General Porrino. “These graduates made the decision to focus on their education, and today they can say that their decisions have paid off.”
Each graduate has 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 district to allow each 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), and several of the JJC’s residential community homes and transitional programs located throughout the state.
“At the Juvenile Justice Commission, we strive to prepare each resident to return home with the tools he or she needs to succeed,” said Executive Director Brown. “When these high school graduates return home, we know that their high school diplomas will open many doors that otherwise may have remained closed to them. Whether they choose to pursue higher education or participate in career readiness programs, they have already proven that they can be successful.”
Rosy Arroyo, co-chair of the New Jersey Association of County Youth Services Commission Administrators representing Camden County, along with Shelby Voorhees, Ocean County Youth Services Commission Administrator, presented eight graduates with awards recognizing their success in the following areas: Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Science, Art, Career and Technical Education, World Languages, and HiSET Score. Each recipient received $25.00 and a certificate of recognition awarded by the association.
The Office of Education provides a 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 all students, including those with special needs. 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 JJC offers a variety of programs including: applied horticulture sciences, culinary arts with ServSafe certification, graphic arts, plumbing and pipefitting, and computer applications with various certifications.
For more information on the JJC, please visit www.njjjc.com.