KRA Program Staff Join Camden Youth Council

On December 8, 2011, Anita Davis, KRA Program Manager, and Kia Watkins, KRA Career Agent, attended their first meeting, as members of the Camden (NJ) Youth Council, at City Hall. The Council’s role is to assist in executing the youth mission of the Mayor, Dana Reed, a strategic part of which is to solicit input from all providers of youth services in Camden, and to have them join the Council and participate in the activities of the 12 Council Committees. Ms. Davis reported, “The invitation to join the Council came from Mr. A.D. Lingo, Council Co-Chair, and Ms. Watkins and I are eager to share what works, and what hasn’t worked, for our Youth Employability and Success (YES) program.  We also want to learn from other members about their experiences and successes as youth practitioners.  I chose the Education and Training Committee, and Ms. Watkins will be participating on the Performing Arts Committee.”

While Ms. Davis’ choice seemed pretty clear-cut, when asked why she chose the Performing Arts Committee, Ms. Watkins responded, “That is an area that I’m strong in, and incorporating some measure of performing arts activities into the YES program will help our youth be more open to new things.  I’ve learned that there are a lot of talented students in our classes with a genuine interest in the performing arts, so I figured that Committee was the way to go. I try to find creative new ways to help our youth achieve their life goals, and to stay off the streets.  Performing arts can touch people in many different ways, and I think that through their participation, the students will be able to express themselves more, and use this as a new outlet to release the everyday stress and pressure from whatever negative situations they might be in. I want their total KRA experience, not just the academic side of things, to be one they’ll never forget.”