Utah Department of Corrections (UDC) Pre-Service Academy Cadets spent the day volunteering with Utah Community Action (UCA) and its Head Start program as a way to give back to the local community.
The 42 cadets saved the program 84 combined personnel hours by cleaning up garbage, doing a great deal of yard work, and preparing food in the kitchen at the Head Start in South Salt Lake City. This is the second volunteer opportunity UCA organized with the UDC Cadets, and the academy will continue working throughout the year to build a relationship with the communities and give back to children and families in need.
“This is a great opportunity for the new correctional officers to find out about programs that are available to families and children in their communities,” said Mike Varanakis, Communications Manager with UCA. “Having the cadets helping with not only yard work but in the kitchen will help UCA serve over 4,000 meals, which is done daily.”
UCA, formerly known as Salt Lake Community Action Program, has 112 classrooms throughout Salt Lake and Tooele counties. In 2017, UCA’s Head Start program served over 2,200 children.
The mission of Utah Community Action is to empower individuals, strengthen families and build communities through self-sufficiency and education programs.
“We do care about our community and we want that to show,” said Sergeant Jordan Horst, Pre-Service Coordinator with UDC. “Most of the time we are in the prison and not seen as much so we want to take the opportunity to reach out and serve our communities.”
The Federal Government requires that Head Start programs generate 20 percent of their grant value from in-kind donations within the communities they serve in order to continue receiving funds for their programs.
UCA also has five other programs to assist with breaking the cycle of poverty. Those programs include HEAT (helping keep the heat on in your home), Weatherization, Nutrition, Adult Education, and Case Management & Housing.
For more coverage about the cadets volunteering please see our YouTube Channel
- Public Information Office, September 14, 2017