Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) recently received a $64,000 grant from the Florida Department of Education to increase high school diplomas awarded and ensure post-release employability for youth placed in Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) custody. The grant, implemented by the District’s Department of Equity & Academic Attainment, provides services to youth at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center facility in Pompano Beach through the Teaching, Redirecting and Advancing Individuals of the Next Generation program (TRAIN).

TRAIN is aligned with the educational objectives of the DJJ and is designed to ensure youth in the juvenile justice system obtain measurable academic improvement and acquire career technical skills. The program aims to help youth find employment following their release, and increase opportunities for them to earn industry-recognized certifications.

In partnership with McFatter Technical College, approximately 56 youth will prepare for careers in Commercial Foods and Culinary Arts. During the course, students are able to earn the ServSafe Industry Certification on sanitation and safe food handling. Business partners will serve as guest speakers and provide interviews to prepare youth for future employment opportunities.

“This grant supports our commitment and responsibility to provide students with high-quality and meaningful educational experiences that prepare them for future success,” said David Watkins, director of Equity & Academic Attainment. “Our ultimate goal is for every student to graduate with competencies required to succeed in the workforce.”

BCPS currently provides a full range of educational services at the Pompano Youth Treatment Center, including evidenced-based curriculum, structured behavior management systems, substance abuse treatment and individual/group counseling and family therapy.