Assessment & Classification Specialist,
Department of Juvenile Justice
Mu Sigma Nu Mentoring and Advocacy Nonprofit
Today I am honored to feature Will Clark. He is tirelessly devoted to serving the youth in our community both in his daily role at the Department of Juvenile Justice and also through his non-profit, Mu Sigma Nu. At the DJJ, Will chairs a team of professionals to place children who have been adjudicated of juvenile offenses in appropriate programs. He invited me to observe this process last fall and I was able to see him in action. Many of the children had little or no support network and it was quite sad, however Will's compassion and the encouragement he gave each child was refreshing. His non profit, Mu Sigma Nu provides mentoring and advocacy services to at-risk male youth ages 13 to 19 in need of academic, pro-social and therapeutic support. Despite the sometimes emotionally draining work, Will exudes an energy and calling to serve others that would inspire anyone. I know you will enjoy this feature.
"I think the voice of our young often goes unheard. I try to make sure that I am always listening."
Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself, the type of work you do, and your non-profit youth mentoring project.
For the past eight years, I have worked with at risk youth with the Department of Juvenile Justice. I have been dedicated to providing treatment services to these youth so that they can thrive. I am an advocate for youth services. I think the voice of our young often goes unheard. I try to make sure that I am always listening. My work with youth allows me the opportunity to connect with other youth serving individuals and agencies whose goal it is to help youth as well. I am a strong supporter of mentoring which led me to create a non profit based on mentoring youth called, Mu Sigma Nu.
Q: What do you do specifically with the Department of Juvenile Justice?
My present profession position is an Assessment & Classification Specialist with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice where I have been employed for eight years. I chair committees designed to identify the needs of youth for mental health & therapeutic services, drug & alcohol treatment programs, foster care services, independent living programs, specialized residential services, community-based services, as well as mentoring services.
Q: What are the goals of your non-profit, Mu Sigma Nu?
Mu Sigma Nu mentors teen males that are in need of mentoring. We work with youth in the community settings as well as those in detention centers. Many youth in this population are in great need of someone helping them to develop critical life skills. Mu Sigma Nu achieves this through the implementation of workshops, outreach activities, rap sessions, and educational assistance. It just simply involves giving a little of your time to help possibly change a young person's world.
Q: How do you encourage other people to devote their time to organizations such as Mu Sigma Nu?
I encourage others to give time to mentoring by simply demonstrating mentoring practices myself. People tend to feel that mentoring will be a huge sacrifice of the little time that many have in their already busy lives. This is achieved by pulling a young person into a schedule you already have. I did not have mentors growing up. I try to be to others what I did not have myself. This is my greatest reason for mentoring and what has encouraged others the most to give back.
Q: Which other non-profit organizations inspire you the most?
I am greatly inspired by Missionaries of Charity that was founded by Mother Theresa. I am humbled by the work done with orphaned and abandoned youth. My wife benefited from their services as an infant. She is also an advocate for youth. I can see the fruits of labor from that organization through her. It's amazing.
Q: What is the most unusual goal on your "bucket list?"
I am really fascinated with Egyptian culture. I want stand on a pyramid. It amazes me that they have stood the test of time.
Anyone interested in learning more about Mu Sigma Nu, supporting its activities, or would like to serve as an Mu Sigma Nu mentor should check out the organization's web site: www.musigmanu.com, or contact Will at: WillClark@MuSigmaNu.com
Kathryn Boortz has a passion for working with youth and their families. She is the founder of Boortz Law, a law firm that focuses on juvenile defense.