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Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES)

Organization Website: http://www.cases.org/

Location: New York

Former Intern(s): Joel Simwinga, Princeton '15

Organization Description

The mission of CASES is to increase the understanding and use of community sanctions that are fair, affordable, and consistent with public safety.

The youth programs of CASES aim to help young people, ranging in age from 13-20, who are involved in the NYC justice system, to lead productive, crime-free lives. Our approach is distinguished by individualized case management, evidence-based programming, and group activities that build positive peer associations. For many, this is the first time in their lives that they are participating in activities that help them to set personal goals and to develop the skills they need to reach those goals. As a result, hundreds of our youth participants have enrolled in secondary, post-secondary, and vocational institutions, acquired their GEDs, found unsubsidized employment, and ended their involvement in the justice system.

The Education Unit serves all of CASES youth programs with the exception of the family court program. Currently, the Education Unit serves court-involved youth in many capacities. We have a full-range GED program using a balanced literacy model. We offer support to our participants enrolled in community high school by providing them with tutoring during afterschool hours, as well as making school visits to assist with the adjustment from incarceration to school. We also have a post-secondary initiative through a grant from the National Youth Employment Coalition promoting retention through community college for disconnected youth. 

The Education Unit has the unique opportunity to create a learning environment where formerly disconnected students can reconnect with their education without the stigma of being court-involved. Our students are given the opportunity to redefine themselves as students and pursue their educational goals. We are a diverse team that works collaboratively in our efforts to reshape the image of “school” for our students.

Guggenheim Internship Description

Over the course of the summer internship, we will provide the intern with a comprehensive experience with the Education Unit. We look to the Guggenheim intern to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to our programming. The internship will be a two-pronged approach to the same goal: GED attainment for court-involved youth. 

Many of our participants are disconnected from education and are not on track to earning a high school diploma or its equivalent. Without this credential, obtaining employment with a livable wage is much more difficult. 
In 2014, the GED will be changing from a skills-based exam to a content-based exam aligned with the National Common Core Standards. We have already shifted our instruction in the classroom. Now we are working to create opportunities for our previous testers to use 2013 to study for and re-take the portions of the GED they have not yet passed. We will be doing a mass outreach and offering tutoring for those who will take this new test.  

The intern will be responsible for the outreach, as well as organizing the GED tutoring that will be offered. The intern will work with teachers to create appropriate materials for tutoring sessions. There is a unique opportunity for the intern to have direct interaction with former CASES participants who have still not completed their goal of attaining a GED. 

Additionally, the intern will assist teachers in the GED classroom to work with current CASES participants in achieving their educational goals. The intern will choose their subject strength, (math, literacy, writing) and work with the appropriate teacher in the classroom. There will be opportunities for the intern to co-teach classes, work one-on-one with students, and participate in our collaborative lesson planning. the intern will also assist with the proctoring and scoring of the official practice GED in mid-July.   

Interns will also work with teachers and other Education staff to develop individual education plans for students. This is done during our weekly unit meeting. Interns will be expected to present on their observations from class and tutoring to help formulate an education plan. 

Guggenheim Interns will also have the opportunity to experience:

•    Performance meetings, where units in the Court Employment Project meet with the Executive team to evaluate their progress towards outcome goals
•    The Re-Entry Education Network meetings with other Education staff. This is a network comprised of various Re-Entry organizations throughout New York City who gather monthly to discuss policy, advocacy, and collaboration as it pertains to the re-entry population 
•    A day in court with a Court Representative from each of the boroughs we serve with our Court Employment Project (CEP).
•    Team Meetings with all direct service staff in CEP – twice weekly
•    Recreational activities with participants from a variety of CASES Youth Programs
•    Staff trainings if applicable

In the past, Interns have created their own projects based on their personal interests. Interns have created financial literacy workshops for students, built electronic resources for the teachers, presented on the nuances of Special Education for staff and organized a college fair with our Post Secondary Specialist. Interns will work with appropriate staff to create a meaningful project.

All of our students are court-involved at some level.

Intern Qualifications

Ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing; eagerness to learn about an alternative-to-incarcertion education program; willingness to offer ideas and opinions to the team; ability to work in a group as well as independently; confidence to ask questions; compassion for our participants; an open mind. 

Experience with the GED and/or tutoring preferred, but not required.

Expected start time: 10:00 am

Expected end time: 6:00 pm

Required Dates: 06/03/2013-08/09/2013

Internship: 8-10 weeks

Additonal Information: If something other than public transportation is needed, we will provide it.

Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services Internship Application