Cohort 5 graduate Derrick Venzen is developing a program to assist inmates in a facility near his home on St. Croix.
Venzen is a recent graduate of the Andrews Institute of Civic Leadership program. He presently serves as Assistant Project Director with My Brother’s Workshop on St. Croix.
Mr. Venzen’s graduate project was titled Rescue Our Children (a.k.a. The R.O.C.) and featured a life skills program that was implemented with the homeless population. The R.O.C. will now turn its focus to assisting inmates within the Bureau of Correction’s Golden Grove Corrections Facility on St. Croix. A ten-week program is being developed to start in August 2017 with the female population. The male groups are slated to begin in January of 2018.
The R.O.C. will work to empower the incarcerated population to maximize opportunities to grow and utilize their potential while gaining a sense of stability while in-housed and at the same time look to develop goals to lead productive lives. Goals of the life skills program will look to provide a creative environment so inmates can maximize their opportunities to grown and gain a sense of stability so their energy can be redirected towards positive endeavors.
Venzen plans to emphasize several topics that will help the participants review the reason for incarceration and make conscientious healthy life choices in the future. Venzen says, “One important factor is to assist the group to see the difference between negative and positive peer pressure, and review techniques of alternative measures to resolve conflict. Ultimately, we want the participants to view themselves in a positive manner and be able to set goals that are useful not only as an inmate but also in the community.”
The Andrews Institute applauds Derrick Venzen for his vision, and wishes him the best as he works to implement it in this new location!