On Saturday, August 4, 2012, Thomas Davis, Program Manager, and Stephon Henderson, Job Developer, of KRA’s Job Development and Placement Services Program, and Katina Bryant, Quality Assurance Specialist, from KRA’s Work Readiness and Placement Services Program…both in Washington, DC…participated in the 1st Annual Teen Parent Summit, sponsored by the DC Department of Human Services (DHS) Family Services Administration Teen Parent Assessment Program (TPAP). The free event was open to the public; however, it was intended primarily for pregnant and parenting teen mothers and fathers. According to DHS/TPAP, the Summit theme was Removing Barriers: Turning Challenges into Success, and the goal was “to address the need for a strategic, comprehensive, wrap-around services program model and collective work endeavor needed to help move approximately 4000 Teenage pregnant and parenting TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] recipients off of welfare towards self-sufficiency.” Approximately 100 attendees participated, 25 of whom were grandparents representing their children who could not attend.
Davis was the Moderator, and Guest Panelist, for the “Career & Professional Development” workshop that focused on Interviewing Skills, Resume Writing, and Dress for Success. Also, the KRA team participated as a Summit “vendor”, providing a display table where teens could obtain information and materials on GED and post-secondary educational opportunities; career and workforce development pathways; employment and apprenticeship training options; and information about related referral services to community agencies that could assist them in attaining personal and professional growth and development goals.
Davis reported, “Summit presenters and vendors represented a wide range of services available to the teens, including those of the DHS-Office of Work Opportunity [OWO], which conducted on-site assessments and made recommendations for which workforce development workshops to attend. Teens who visited KRA’s display were primarily interested in job-skills training, vocational and post-secondary education, as well as employment opportunities. Most followed through immediately with the OWO assessment tool in order to participate in one of KRA’s TANF Employment Programs. We made appointments with 10 teens, and have access to the registration/mailing list to conduct our own follow-up as well. My colleagues and I are very pleased to have been invited to participate in the Summit, and to possibly make a difference in a lot of young people’s lives.”