Posts from the ‘Profession’ Category

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:

Mandatory
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

School vs. Work

During the summer, many students choose to get a job. A summer job, in

Van Crawford

Van Crawford

some ways, can be much better than time spent otherwise at school.  But, for some it can just remind them of how much they miss school. The youth at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) have been debating on which they prefer.

Jason Barnes says he’d rather wake up in the morning and go to work as opposed to going to school. He says that work is more of a drama-free environment that allows him to concentrate on the tasks before him, without having to worry about distractions. Because Jason goes to a school which doesn’t end until late in the afternoon, he says that this leaves him tired; which ultimately makes work his choice of preference. Summer youth Anna Marie thinks differently. She much rather prefers being at school. She thinks that school keeps her more engaged. She also thinks that at school she can have more of a laid back attitude about things; whereas at work you must have more of a professional and stern way of thinking. There will always be others, such as Ahmed Brown, who has an in-between feeling on which he feels keeps him more active. He cannot decide what he’s more pleased to wake up and start his day doing. Ahmed enjoys school and work both the same. He feels that they both equally keep him busy, although if he had to choose he would probably choose school because of the level of friendships he has there.

The general analysis of choice around the office can definitely not be determined. Most kids constantly crave for summer during the entire nine months of the school year. But, in most cases, unless a child is doing something that they absolutely love during the summer, they will be anxious to go back to school. A summer job for some youth is most certainly something that takes getting used to. But, for most, anything will always be better than waking up every morning and going to school.

–Van Crawford

Preparing for the Future

Darion Parker, Writer

Darion Parker, Writer

This past week I went around the building asking summer youth for their feedback on the professional development sessions. Overall, everyone was satisfied with the time spent on each session. The majority said that they learned a lot during the sessions about what it means to be a professional. When I asked them the most important thing they took from the sessions, almost everyone said the importance of networking. It really stuck with a lot of the youth that they cannot get where they want to go on their own. When I asked which session they enjoyed the most it was a tie between the women and men in power discussions and the most recent session on decision-making.

Going along with networking and decision-making, Kristen Cousins said “I learned you have to have people around you that want to go further. If you see that everyone around you is ok with where they are and you aren’t then that isn’t the crowd for you.” My final question to my fellow summer youth was which speaker impacted them the most. Almost everyone said that Detective Crawford was their favorite. Jeremy Bennett said, “I liked how he told stories instead of lecturing us. He actually made me think.”

Darion Parker

At the Midway Point!

DCRA summer youth are gaining a wide variety of skills.

DCRA summer youth are gaining a wide variety of skills.

The summer youth at DCRA have been enjoying a program and environment that have been very beneficial to the participants. We are now at the halfway point, and many of the youth have developed professional and productive skills that will help them in many of their future career aspirations. Although there are still a few more weeks left to learn something new in the program, many youth feel that they can take the skills that they have learned so far and apply them to their other fields of interest.

Summer youth Lawrence Cross told me that his time here has taught him the importance of being a professional and the benefits that it can bring to him. So far, one of the biggest highlights of the summer program has been the weekly professional development sessions.  I talked to some of the youth to see what they thought about the professional development sessions. They stated that they thought the career fashion show and last week’s sessions with professionals from the law enforcement industry were two of the top so far.

As for filling the expectations of the program, many feel that DCRA has been able to do so, in terms of providing a professional workplace where youth can see, first-hand, the workings of D.C. government.  Some youth did complain of having non-challenging and mundane tasks, but still said that as a whole they are enjoying the program. They also talked of how in the up-coming weeks they expect much of the same that they got in the first of half of the program. With the eventual goal of everyone in the program leaving with a resume, it seems that each youth will be able to add significant substance from their time here at DCRA.

–Willis Bradwell

The Process of Applying to College

You can get free printed catalogs from most colleges and universities simply by requesting them at the school's website or by calling the admissions office.

You can get free printed catalogs from most colleges and universities simply by requesting them at the school's website or by calling the admissions office.

The process of applying to college is one that can be both exciting and nerve-racking. For those who may be starting this process in the fall or some time in the near future, here are a few tips to try and make the process run a little more smoothly. The first thing you should do before you apply to college is have an idea of what you might want to study. This will help you in determining what types of schools you should look at. For example, if you have an interest in studying business, look for schools with a strong business program. You should then compile a list of maybe 10-15 schools that you like. Next, you should research the schools you have an interest in, and see what types of programs and opportunities that they can provide to you. Once you have completed your research on these schools, it should help you to begin to narrow down the list of schools you may want to attend.

If possible, it is best to try and visit any school before you apply. Visiting a school gives you a real first hand experience of what the school and its environment are really like. Although it may be hard to travel to all the schools on your list, I would strongly encourage visiting a school before you apply–especially schools that you have a strong interest in attending. After researching and visiting different schools, you should have a pretty solid idea of the schools that you seriously may want to attend.

The next step in the process is the most time-consuming and possibly the most stressful, the application process. One of the most important things to remember about applying to college is that you may not get accepted to your number one choice. However, if you have done your research and fully looked into the schools you’re applying to, you will end up at a school that is a good fit for you.

The application process is not as simple as many may think it is. There are specific steps and procedures that you need to follow to ensure that your application is good and acceptable. This first thing you need to do before sending out your applications to schools is see which schools take the common application, and which schools require you to fill out their own specific application. The common application gives you list of questions to answer, in addition to two essays that you need to write. This application can be sent to all schools that accept it, and helps expedite the process so that you don’t need to fill out a separate application for each school. However, most schools do require an additional short essay along with the common application. It is important to remember that you are sending your common application to many schools, so try not to mention, or leave the name of a certain school in one of the essays.

Once you have filled out your application comes the most important step in the process, reviewing it for any possible errors. When applying to a school you have to remember that you are just one of thousands of other kids applying to that school. Sending in an application with errors or the wrong format, shows to the admissions staff that you are not serious about attending their school, and it only hurts your chances of acceptance. I personally know of a person who works in an admissions department, and he says whenever he comes across an application with errors on it, he automatically just passes over it and moves on to the next one. When you are responsible for looking over thousands of applications, you are always glad when you can just toss one to the side.

The next idea to help you in your application process is to send in all of your materials at one time. What I mean by this is, don’t send in your SAT scores, then your application, and then your high school transcript and recommendations. Most schools don’t start reviewing your application until they have all of this information anyway, so you should send in everything at once. If you do send it in different parts, it gets put to the side until the offer parts arrive, and that can only lead to them delaying their decision, or even possibly losing part of your application. The final thing you should do when applying to colleges is look for something called an application fee-waiver. Almost all schools require you to send an application fee when applying to their school. These fees can range from between $30-75, but fee waivers are usually pretty easy to obtain, just contact the school and explain your situation to them. Hopefully this article helps in your process of applying to college, and hopefully you end up at the school that is best for you.

–Willis Bradwell

Spotlight on: Mr. James Gray

Over the past few weeks of the summer youth program here at DCRA,

James Gray

James Gray

members of the communications team have been going around to different departments trying to gain a full perspective on how the agencyworks. One of these trips was to the DCRA office located at 1900 Massachusetts Avenue–better known as D.C. General.

While on this visit, we learned how the inspection process works, and why it is such a vital part of not only DCRA, but the entire city as well. One of the supervisors of inspections is mister James Gray.  Mister Gray is the head supervisor of inspections and compliance for wards 5 and 6 in the District.  He overlooks a team of ten employees who are responsible for inspecting and making sure all plumbing, electricity, and construction is done properly. He has been working with DCRA for 22 years, and says that he loves his job. The biggest reward he gets from his job is knowing that his work directly benefits the community in a positive way.

One of the keys for his department’s success during his time here is good team work. He mentioned that without good team work from his employees, the process of inspecting all properties in wards 5 and 6 would be nearly impossible.

Although mister Gray already has a lot of responsibilities as a head supervisor, his job title does not end there. During the past few years mister Gray has also become a member of D.C.’s emergency response team. This means that during any terrorist attacks or natural disasters, it is mister Gray’s responsibility to help with the assistance of other emergency personnel to try and keep the city under control.

–Willis Bradwell

Spotlight On: Monae Sheffield

Monea Sheffield

Monae Sheffield

This week, I would like to shine the spotlight on summer youth worker Monae Sheffield. Monae is 15 years old and attends Roosevelt Senior High School in Washington, D.C. This upcoming school year, Monae will be entering the 10th grade. She is a very intelligent young lady who loves to read. Her favorite subjects are math and science and she has had the honor of receiving a scholarship for science and human health. Monae has also competed in and won a science fair.

Here, at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Monae is excelling in her work. She has joined the Customer Service division, and is showing exemplary behavior in every task that she has been assigned. During my interview with Monae she gave me an overview of her normal day which consists of handling correspondence calls, scanning and making copies. She expressed her excitement for the up and coming weeks because she will have the opportunity to begin scheduling inspections. Monae also spends a lot of her day with DCRA employee Nikkia Greene. She sits at the front desk of the director’s office. Monea stated that she enjoys working there and she is also aware that the opportunity is a privilege. Working at the front has given Monae the opportunity to enhance her office skills such as; operating telephones, assisting customers and scheduling meetings.

Monae would define herself as great person who enjoys a challenge. She stated that she does not mind picking up slack for her team members. She believes in working together for the betterment of her group or team members. Monae plans to go to college. She wants to attend Princeton, Harvard or Georgetown University and she wants to become a lawyer. She also wants to obtain a degree in business. One day she wants to open a homeless shelter for women and children. She enjoys working for DCRA and is well aware that the techniques and skills that she will learned this summer is to benefit her later in life. She plans on using the knowledge she gained as a tool in high school and throughout her future.

–Dajah Blackwell