TeenQuest graduate and Flint Promise Scholar Javion Miller is working toward obtaining a degree in criminal justice at Mott Community College with the goal of going into law enforcement. In the meantime, he is gaining experience working as a residential advisor for New Paths – a program designed to transition people who have served time, generally related to substance abuse, back into society.
“My current job is preparing me for the criminal justice field,” says Miller. “I wanted to help out my community. I know I work with criminals, but they deserve to be treated like human beings.”
Miller has always enjoyed working fulfilling jobs and appreciated that opportunity through Summer Youth Initiative, where he worked for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Flint and Mott Community College both on campus and through Workforce Development.
“The jobs I did through SYI prepared me for the real world,” says Miller. “We worked with adults and were held to the same standard. I also worked with a lot of strong people in the community.”
The Flint Southwestern Academy graduate is continuing to follow his dreams and working toward giving back to his community.
What does a typical day look like for you at New Paths?
I work directly with the Michigan Department of Corrections and oversee a floor of the New Paths facility. We house parolees and those who have parole violations. As an overseer of the floor, I make sure rooms are clean; take residents down for lunch, dinner or smoke breaks; and periodically do room checks.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your job?
I was laid off for about a month, but they brought me back in June. Since then, I had to change up my routine – wearing a mask is very important and so are increased sanitation procedures.
How do you plan to pursue a career in law enforcement?
After graduating from Mott Community College, I hope to get recruited by a department and attend the police academy. Then, hopefully, I will be hired by a department in the local area.
How has being a Flint Promise Scholar helped you during college?
The program helped me cover costs that I could not cover in other ways. I have a great success coach, Mr. James Washington, who was also my TeenQuest coordinator. It is nice to have a familiar face helping me and he gives a lot of great advice.
What skills from TeenQuest did you use when interviewing for your current position?
Having a positive attitude, answering each question fully and maintaining eye contact.
What advice would you offer current TeenQuest students?
Take each job and make the best out of it because you never know who you may run into in the future.
What has been your proudest moment since graduating TeenQuest?
Graduating high school and starting college. During school, I felt like there were a lot of elements that would try and tear me down. But I knew that if I got a college degree, I would be able to go far.
TeenQuest and Summer Youth Initiative are made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.