Brenda C. Jenifer, a locally respected leader in the area of training at risk youth, became the Chief Operating Officer for the Brooklyn Job Corps Academy in August 2001. Located in the heart of the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn New York, the Brooklyn Job Corps Academy is one of 122 Job Corps Centers operated nationally by the US Department of Labor. Job Corps, created in 1963 under the Johnson administration, is the oldest and largest vocational and academic training program for “at promise” youth funded by the federal government. The Brooklyn Job Corps Academy offers training to 210 trainees on a daily basis in the attainment of GED and High School Diploma and career technical training in the areas of Visual Communications, Computer Repair Technician, Culinary Arts, Homeland Security, Medical Office Management, and Medical Assistant. During her tenure, approximately 2,200 trainees have passed through the doors of the academy, 2,100 have left as graduates and 1,200 have been placed in higher education or the local workforce. In 2010, Ms. Jenifer was promoted to Executive Center Director of the NYC Job Corps Centers encompassing the South Bronx Job Corps center and its Satellite; The Brooklyn Job Corps Center. During her tenure, the NYC Job Corps Centers has exceeded expectations ranking 10th in the country at the close of Program Year 2011.
Ms. Jenifer’s hails from Washington D.C with her childhood years being raised in Plainfield New Jersey where she grew up with her siblings, and parents, Dr. Franklyn and Alfleda Jenifer. She later attended Douglass College and Muhlenberg Hospital School of Nursing. She served as a Critical Care and Emergency Room nurse and served also as a Director of Planned Parenthood of Greater Northern New Jersey prior to her arrival at the Job Corps program in 1996.
Ms. Jenifer’s passion for education and service was nurtured by her father and role model, Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer, a national leader in education and former President of both Howard University and University of Texas at Dallas. She connected herself to her father’s legacy and began her commitment to the education and social betterment of inner-city youth by dedicating herself to helping them realize their fullest potential. Ms. Jenifer’s commitment to helping at-risk youth, especially young men of color; has helped her follow her father’s footsteps by instilling in them hope and the correct motivation for success. She has dedicated her tenure at the Brooklyn Job Corps Academy to not only being the Academy’s director, but to exacting reality into her interactions with her trainees. As a single parent, Ms. Jenifer was challenged with many struggles. Despite this, she always knew that she was the captain of her life’s ship. She clearly recognized that if she stayed and steered the course, she would prevail and attain success: a lesson she imparts frequently to her trainees. It is not uncommon for Ms. Jenifer to serve as counselor, mentor, nurse and disciplinarian to the young people she serves. Her mantra to her staff: “Success is a continuum. Where there is hope there is the promise of possibilities”.
Ms. Jenifer’s contributions to society have brought her numerous honors and awards such as Excellence in Medical\Surgical Nursing, various awards for Excellence in Center Programming and the ResCare Community Service Award for six consecutive years; under her direction the Brooklyn Job Corps has received many citations and proclamations from many community leaders, organizations and civic leaders. Her latest accomplishment: taking the Brooklyn Job Corps Academy to rank amongst the top 30 best overall performers of the 122 Job Corps centers in the nation, as of April 2009. Ms. Jenifer and husband live in Edison, N.J. She has one adult child.
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