Posts by DCRA Summer Youth

Professional Development: Week 3

Professional Development

Hello! Welcome back to another week of fun and excitement at DCRA.  As program coordinators Ms. Kristina Swann and Ms. Tania Williams informed you the first week, we’ll have a host of professional development sessions for you to participate in this summer.

This week, there are two sessions, but only one is mandatory.  If  you haven’t touched base with your supervisor or coordinator to let them know which sessions you’d like to attend, or if you’d like to make a change do so as quickly as possible.  This week’s sessions are:

Understanding Government Structure and Operations

9:15am to 10:30am, 2nd Floor Hearing Room
Wednesday, July 14th

DCRA Executive Panel Discussion
10:30am to 12:00pm, 4th Floor Emergency Operations Center
Friday, July 16th


Two weeks in!

Leah Britton

Hi! My name is Leah Britton. Today, my colleague and I Jason  Bonds interviewed some of the 2010 Summer Youth Employees. On our adventure we came across alot of different people but one that stood out to us the most was a veteran DCRA Summer Youth  employee in the Zoning/Structual department, he looked like he was  really having a blast ,and he was. Because of the major differences and changes that were made, like the new building and the new way things were being managed He told us that he was enjoying working this year a whole lot more than last year. After leaving there we made our way to the Office of Information Systems to find more summer youth workers. After a bit of looking  and searching around we managed to find a group of workers Their ages ranged from 14 to 20,  one thing they all agreed on was that  they all enjoyed their jobs. They loved  the work they were  being  giving  and the lessons that they were being taught while having fun.

– Leah Britton

Getting to know Co-Workers

Charday Green

Today is the first day of the District’s Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs summer youth employment program. We decided to visit with some of our fellow youth employees to ask them questions that may help the DCRA staff get to know them better. We asked 16 year-old Laurence Cross what his favorite part of the day was. He told us that seeing his supervisor again was what he enjoyed most. Laurence has experience working with the “Support Services Division”. Last year helped give him people skills and now he’s brilliant at his job. There’s another thing that Laurence is really good at: football. He says for as long as he can remember, he always loved football. Now he’s playing football for Ballou Senior High School. His goal is to attend college and become a professional football player.

We also talked to 16 year-old Leah Britton. Her favorite part of today was the lunch break. She didn’t expect the DCRA summer youth program to be this fun. Leah’s goal is to learn how to communicate with others. After her summer job with DCRA is over, Leah plans to communicate with a lot more people. But, during the program she told us she will be saving the majority of her money and going on a shopping spree.

Next, we ran into 20 year-old Latoya Pannell. She loves getting to know others. She said she’s been having fun from the moment she walked into the building. She even wants the opportunity to learn more about DCRA as she shares her time with the staff. Her work in the communications department will help her be more confident when she attends Everest College this Fall.

– Charday Green

Communications Division

On the second day of the DCRA Summer Youth Employment Program we asked 21 year old Andrea Plowden a couple of questions about her second day of work. She attends Ballou High School. She plans to go to college in the fall. We asked her what she plans to do with the money she’ll earn this summer and she said that she plans on saving it. We also asked her what her expectation was from doing this job for the summer. Andrea told us she wanted to earn a permanent job.

I ran into 16 year-old Jabriel Imgram who is also really excited about the job. Jabriel seems to be a bright young man. This coming school year, he will be a junior at Coolidge Senior High School. He wants his resume to stand out more so that’s why he decided to work in the DCRA office building. So, when its time to find a job he will already have that type of experience. With the money he makes here, he wants to go shopping, help pay bills and most of all he wants to get tattoos.

– Demetria Lunsford

Demetria Lunsford

Welcome back to a brand new year!

Jason Barnes


Welcome back to DCRA’s Summer Youth Program! This year we will have some interesting and cool things to share. We’ve had a slow start, but starting today we’re getting ourselves back in the game and we’re showing everyone. Stay tuned for more updates and articles summarizing our stay in 2010’s Summer Youth Program!

– Jason Barnes

When It’s More Than Cutting Grass

Summer youth James Johnson trims weeds and over-growth from the fence of District senior citizen Loretta Womack.

Summer youth James Johnson trims weeds and over-growth from the fence of District senior citizen Loretta Womack.

The DCRA summer youth employment program participants are holding positions in most of the agency’s departments.  Each of them works to complete important and worthwhile projects each day, though some require a bit more physical output than others.  The youth in the enforcement department have been especially busy this summer, working in the hot sun (with proper hydration nearby and adequate break periods), but it’s work that each of them says has been really fulfilling—beautifying the lawns of District senior citizens.

Today, Omari Al-Din and James Johnson went out to help brighten the day of some District seniors.  I caught up with them at the home of Mrs. Loretta Womack in Northeast D.C.  James was trimming the ivy and other weeds that were growing along the fence surrounding Mrs. Womack’s property.  Omari was cutting the grass.  I was drenched in sweat within minutes of getting out of the car, and they certainly were, but when I stopped them to ask what it was like doing the work, each of them smiled and started telling me how great it has been.

Omari said, “It feels really good to give back to the community. Some of them [assignments] have been fun.  Especially when a lot of us are out working on a yard.  A few of the ladies even offered us food and drinks while we were working, but we always have our own drinks.”  I was amazed at just how genuine Omari’s response seemed. Never once did he complain about how hot it was.  Instantly, I felt badly about complaining, even if only in my head, about the heat. 

Omari Al-Din gives the lawnmower chain a yank to finish cutting the grass at Mrs. Womack's.

Omari Al-Din gives the lawnmower chain a yank to finish cutting the grass at Mrs. Womack's.

I went inside to ask Mrs. Womack what she thought about what the boys were doing. She told me that she was so shocked that someone would do something that required so much effort in the hot sun; she couldn’t believe that DCRA wasn’t going to charge her.  I laughed and reassured her that we weren’t.  She says just from what she’d seen up to that moment, she’s had people who she’d paid to cut her grass who hadn’t done as good a job as Omari and James were doing.  She says she thought it was a great idea that DCRA was doing something to help them stay out of trouble.  Her husband, who passed away some years ago, used to be a D.C. police officer.

When I went back outside to speak with James, he had only just turned off the grass trimmer he was using a few minutes before.  His face was covered with sweat.  I told him that I wasn’t going to hold him up for long and I only wanted to ask him a couple of questions about his experience beautifying the properties of District senior citizens.  Just as Omari had done, he smiled and without hesitation told me that he was really enjoying the work.  “It’s been very easy for me.  Actually, kind of fun.  It’s always nice to help people.  I want to be a volunteer firefighter, so this has been a great experience,” he finished. 

Mr. William Smith, a member of DCRA’s abatement team, says working with Omari and James and the rest of the young men on the summer youth abatement crew has been like working with his own kids.  He says many of the boys didn’t even know how to cut grass before they started the program and, “now, they are all pretty good,” he smiled like a proud father. 

The District-wide summer youth employment program ends on August 21st.   

–Ms. Kemp

Friday Funny

I hope you all have a great weekend! —Ms. Kemp

From: Randy Glasbergen