Just a week into the new school year, Building A-128, which houses the Administration of Justice Program, was packed with new and former students, safety aides, AJ instructors, and their leader, Margaret Dixon, who welcomed them all to the first annual “Meet and Greet.”
“It was a great turnout for our first get together,” says Ms. Dixon. “The students were actually the ones who came up with the idea. They thought it would be good to bring together the instructors and students to find out what to expect from their classes, talk about the Criminal Justice Club activities, and invite new students to join.”
Howard Jordan, Pre-Academy instructor and former Oakland Police Chief, talked about the importance of the class and cited the graduates who have gone to to work in the police forces throughout the Bay Area. Criminal Justice Club officers spoke of all the community activities the club’s members participate in, including helping the homeless, Oakland clean-up days, and the upcoming Senior Day at Knowland Park. Ray Leon of the Oakland City Council presented the volunteers with certificates for their important volunteer work.
“Ray Leon knows our students because he’s out at a lot of the functions where they are volunteering,” says Ms. Dixon. “These activities give them a network with the community to get a chance to really engage and see what the needs are and how much their services are appreciated,” she says. “It also helps them become invested in the area where they live and to feel good about it.”