October 2012 - Essex County


October 2012 - Essex County
Newark, NJ – Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.
presented the monthly Essex County Teamwork Awards for October
to five Essex County employees and a student from the Essex
County Vocational Technical School District. Teamwork Awards
recognize employees for their hard work, dedication and willingness
to provide quality service and highlights the Schools.
Melanie Costa, a Senior at the West Caldwell Campus of the Essex
County Vocational-Technical Schools, has made the Honor Roll
since her Freshman Year. A Business Technology student, she has
kept up her academic achievements while taking leadership roles in
FBLA, The Future Business Leaders of America. As a member of
the Student Council, she contributes in a number of ways, always
working on behalf of her peers to create a positive school
L TO R: Nicole Broadnax, John Bligen, Yasmine Young,
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.,
environment. Melanie also serves others in her community by
Melanie Costa, Jacquelyn Matthews and Chris Gammaro
assisting senior citizens at different establishments and participating
in Breast Cancer Walks. We are sure that in the future we can count on her to continue contributing to those around her, as
she climbs the ladder of success in her chosen profession.
Chris Gammaro joined the Essex County Parks Department in 2007 and became a Data Processing Programmer in the
Essex County Correctional Facility Records Room two years later. Here, he handles many complex issues, working directly
with the Courts and other counties and police departments across the country to expedite the judicial process for those
incarcerated at our Facility. He is also responsible for updating the computer systems and court dispositions. His supervisors
say, ‘Chris is a responsible self-starter who takes pride in his work and is a valuable member of our team,’ and his perfect
attendance in 2011 is yet another testament to his professional commitment.
Jacquelyn Matthews has worked for Essex County Department of Parks for three years, serving as Clerk in the Permit Unit.
Her responsibilities include issuing permits and scheduling various recreational activities, picnics and special events within the
Essex County Park System. Although fairly new to the Department, Jackie has shown initiative in solving problems pertaining
to permits and activities. Her winning way with the public helps resolve issues quickly and easily. She has also taken an
active interest in the overall operation of the Department, volunteering to assist in outside County sponsored programs and
events. Reliable and dependable, Jacquelyn is certainly an integral part of the Essex County Parks team and we look forward
to many more years of good work from her.
Nicole Broadnax is the Coordinator of Monitoring & Evaluation for the Department of Citizen Services and currently serves as
the Human Services Advisory Council Administrator. In this position, she works directly with the youth involved in the County’s
Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) Enrichment and Training program, along with John Bligen and Yasmine Young.
Their combined excellence and dedication have made Essex County the premiere partner of the NJ Juvenile Justice
Commission. In many ways, Nicole is the face of the County, working directly with clients, co-workers and community
members, organizing forums, and HSAC conferences, recruiting Youth Advisory Council members and creating survey
instruments. Her coordination of the annual Essex County Homeless Connect Day has created an outstanding event, helping
to bring information and services to those in dire need.
Yasmine Young, a Work Readiness Coordinator with the Youth Services Commission, is responsible for the day-to-day
program operations of the Work Readiness and Life Skills Enrichment and Training programs for juveniles 13-18 re-entering
their community after incarceration. Both programs, funded by the NJ Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative Innovations,
provide work readiness and life skills to help participants navigate conflict situations and find and maintain regular employment.
Yasmine comes to this position with a wealth of experience in the field of family service, having worked with DYFS, Wyonna’s
House Child Advocacy Center, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Essex County Welfare Division. The holder of a
Master’s in Child Advocacy from Montclair State University, Yasmine has dedicated herself to helping generations of youth,
many born in poverty and raised with limited guidance, find their way to a positive life.
John Bligen has been an Adjunct Professor at Essex County College for four years. For the past two years, he also has
worked for the Youth Services Commission, teaching life skills and work readiness to youth 13-18 who are currently, or were
previously, enrolled in a detention program. Upon successful completion of the classroom work, the students are issued a
County ID card from the County Clerk’s Office and a small stipend, giving them a sense of confidence that they can find
employment, or pursue other opportunities provided through the Essex County Resource Center. John has a passion for
mentoring youth and believes that education is the stepping stone for their future, and ours. His knowledge and understanding
of the youth in this program has been a tremendous asset to the program and a huge benefit to the young men and women.

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