News Releases

Grants Fund Work-Based Summer Program for CJR Waterbury Teens
Posted 07/19/2018 09:45AM


The Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) is providing a six-week Work-Based Learning Summer Program for 40 at-risk and disadvantaged boys and girls from Waterbury through generous grants of $24,000 from the American Savings Foundation and $10,000 from the Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

The 2018 program includes vocational training in culinary arts, video and media production, horticulture and landscaping, and entrepreneurial skills development. Participating boys and girls “work” Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM at CJR’s 80 Prospect Street Community Program site, in one of the four study areas, from July 2nd through August 3rd.

The students’ educational experience began with a standardized application and interview process for various positions the week of June 25th. Boys and girls participated in resume development, as well as interviewing and employment-readiness training. Each of the four study areas in the “work” component of the program utilize an entrepreneurship model to develop specific “products” associated with culinary arts, media production, and horticulture and landscaping. A fourth entrepreneurial skills development class works with the other program components to market their products and develop promotional materials. Assigned student teams collaborate on projects and develop specific skill sets relevant to the four job areas, and all students are paid stipends for their participation in the program.

Boys and girls in the culinary class cater lunches on a daily basis for CJR programs and other non-profit organizations in the Waterbury area. The horticulture and landscaping class have created an herb and vegetable garden on the grounds of the Junior Republic’s Waterbury facility at 80 Prospect Street. Produce will be harvested through September and used by the culinary arts class. The horticulture and landscaping class also works on community beautification, including weeding and clean up along Prospect, Linden and Grove Streets.

In addition to completing its own projects, the video and media production class documents the efforts of the other classes. Photography is also taught and student photographs may be used in CJR publications, including the Junior Citizen newsletter and annual report. The Marzahl Memorial Fund grant is specifically funding the video and media production component of the Work-Based Learning Summer Program. The Work-Based Learning Summer Program will conclude with a special awards luncheon for the 40 participants and their families, catered by the culinary arts program.

CJR Executive Director Daniel W. Rezende expressed gratitude to the American Savings Foundation and the Frederick Marzahl Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, for their generous support of the 2018 Work-Based Learning Summer Program in Waterbury.  

“These grants enable at-risk adolescents who are associated with CJR’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program to have a productive and educational work experience, and to maintain the gains they have made during the school year through enrollment in a highly-structured, strength-based summer program,” he said. “This experience provides continuity over the summer and helps students develop practical skills that will facilitate their growth as responsible and contributing participants in the classroom, in their homes, and eventually, in the workplace,” he noted. CJR also conducts a teen pregnancy prevention program for boys and girls in East Hartford and Meriden.

“Everyone can remember the importance of that first summer job.  It’s a step toward adulthood and independence, and an opportunity to gain real-world work experience,” said Maria Falvo, President & CEO of the American Savings Foundation.  “We invest in CJR because this is a great program that helps young people stay focused and engaged over the summer, while giving them career skills they will carry forward into the future.”

The American Savings Foundation is an independent charitable foundation dedicated to strengthening the community by supporting education, human services, and the arts, with special emphasis on the needs of children, youth and families, through grants to community organizations and college scholarships. Since its inception in 1995, the Foundation has contributed $55 million in total grants to local nonprofit organizations and in scholarships to hard-working students in need of financial support.

The Frederick W. Marzahl Memorial Fund was established in 1974 to support and promote quality education, human services and health care programming for underserved populations in the Woodbury area and is administered by the Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.  

NOTE: This program provides many wonderful photo opportunities. To request a photograph or arrange a photo opportunity, please contact Hedy Barton (

Founded in 1904, the Connecticut Junior Republic (CJR) provides care, treatment, education and family support for vulnerable at-risk, special needs and troubled young people so they may become productive and fulfilled members of their homes, schools and communities.  Today, the organization’s combined programs serve nearly 2,000 boys and girls annually in 13 locations throughout Connecticut.

The Junior Republic conducts three residential programs for court-referred young men on its Litchfield campus, and longer term care at its Group Home in Winchester.  Regular, special, vocational and alternative education programs are provided for boys from communities throughout Connecticut at CJR’s Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center, which is located on its Litchfield campus.  Enhancement, transition and related services are also provided. CJR also provides educational services for girls at its new Cable Academic and Vocational Education Center in Bristol.

A broad spectrum of prevention, early intervention, family support, and intensive, home-based service and aftercare programs are provided for boys and girls through CJR’s community locations in Danbury, East Hartford, Manchester,

Meriden, New Haven, New Britain (two sites), Torrington and Waterbury. Behavioral and mental health services are provided at these locations, as well as Litchfield and Winsted.

A private charitable organization, the Connecticut Junior Republic is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  CJR is supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, foundations and organizations, and through service contracts funded by the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (JBCSSD), the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), and by Connecticut’s public schools.  For further information, please contact Hedy Barton, Director of Development and Public Relations (860) 567-9423, extension 252; or by email:

  • Connecticut Junior Republic
  • 550 Goshen Road, P.O. Box 161
  • Litchfield, CT 06759
  • (860) 567-9423



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