Working with the TYJI for the past year has taught me so much. However, the most valuable lesson I have learned is that passion and dedication make all the difference. The entire TYJI staff is so invested in every project they tackle, and it is for the sole purpose of bettering the lives of juveniles in Connecticut. I feel so honored to have been able to learn from such a great group of individuals how to take your passion for something and utilize your skills to their full potential. It was so inspiring to watch the team organize, prepare, and execute meetings and conferences under varying circumstances, and still be able to produce positive results. My position at the TYJI has pushed me to advance my communication and time management skills, as well as my ability to work collaboratively in a team setting. I was also able to grasp a better understanding of the juvenile justice system, specifically in the state on Connecticut, and the necessary steps to eventually pass new legislation. Wherever my future career path in Criminal Justice takes me, I am sure that I will be able to utilize the knowledge I have gained when working with all of the state agencies that comprise the Juvenile Justice Policy & Oversight Committee.
This past semester, I have created several standard intern guides to help future TYJI interns with their orientation process, and give them helpful advice for completely tasks efficiently. Over the course of the past year, I have created numerous organizational charts and graphs for the JJPOC and all of the workgroups/subgroups to utilize. Outside of the TYJI, I became the Vice President of my Greek organization, and most recently became the Sergeant at Arms for the Juvenile Justice Club, which was founded by a student intern at the TYJI.
While I still have my senior year to look forward to, the past three years I have spent at the University have allowed me to grow and really step out of my comfort zone. I have taken leadership roles in recognized student organizations, which have presented me with so many opportunities to advance in the Criminal Justice field. I have also learned how to manage my time in order to have a healthy balance between school and extra curriculars. Most importantly, I have made connections to so many significant individuals in the Criminal Justice field who just want to see me succeed and help me achieve my goals.
“Catherine started as an intern at the Tow Youth Justice Institute but quickly proved to be a vital part of the team. Through her commitment to learning and impressive organizational skills, Catherine was able to turn her internship into a part-time student employment during her junior year at the University of New Haven. She currently assists in the coordination of JJPOC meeting materials, including, but not limited to, agendas, minutes, and attendance. She was also a vital researcher in the Diversion Workgroup, focusing on the minimum age of juvenile jurisdiction and global standards. Catherine excels at everything she does, which is apparent through her educational, professional, and personal success thus far. As she enters her senior year, I look forward to seeing where she lands after graduation and know they will be lucky to have her!”