By Joe Orlando, CDCR Public Information Officer
A recent dinner represented a chance to give back to those who give so much of their time to the youth in the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
Several foster grandparents were honored at the annual Foster Grandparents Recognition Dinner at Wine and Roses in Lodi.
It was a night to celebrate and recognize those who work with the youth at two DJJ facilities; O.H. Close, and N.A Chaderjian in Stockton.
All 29 in attendance received plaques for their dedication and commitment to the program. Special recognition went to Judith DeLane who was honored as Foster Grandparent of the Year.
Donnie Alexander, program manager overseeing the foster grandparent program, handed out the awards.
Rachel Vielma was recognized for 17 years of service and Jerri Robinson for 16 years of service. Retiree Lolita Narvios was also honored for her years of service.
Foster Grandparents have worked with DJJ youth for more than 40 years.
They provide guidance, advice, tutoring, and emotional support as they spend time among the youth in classrooms and living units.
Like natural grandparents, they are an important part of everyday life for almost all DJJ youth, including those whose families are too far away to visit or to participate in institutional activities.