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Brooklyn courts’ summer internship program renamed for its founder Izetta Johnson

Exceptional intern performance this summer recognized with certificates

August 16, 2019 By Caroline Ourso

The Kings County Courts’ summer internship program officially has a new name. It is no longer the Summer Youth Employment Program. Instead, it will be known after the woman who created it — The Izetta Johnson Internship Empowerment Program.

The change was officially announced by the woman who currently runs the program, Charmaine Johnson, no relation to Izetta, during this year’s 30th annual closing ceremony for the 69 interns who participated this year.

“Izetta worked tirelessly to create the Summer Youth Employment Program and dedicated her life to it,” said Justice Deborah Dowling, who served as mistress of ceremonies.

Judges and staff who make the intern program possible smile during the program’s closing ceremony in the Kings County Supreme Court on Monday, Aug. 12, 2019.

Izetta Johnson was a senior management analyst in the court system for 35 years before she retired in 2015. She started the internship program in 1989 with just five interns and expanded it each year until she had 75. She always expressed hope that similar programs would catch on in the other boroughs.

“Her official title was a trainer and manager of the Kings County Courts Equal Opportunity office,” Justice Dowling said of Izetta, “And she took on the extra work without getting paid to supervise the summer interns.

“There have been 1,447 interns that have participated in our program,” Justice Dowling said. “That’s a lot of lives that we’ve touched and that have also touched our lives.”

Interns who received a perfect evaluation for the program with Justice Ruth Shillingford.

In addition to the internship program, Izetta Johnson also chaired and co-chaired many events and committees in the courts including Take Your Child to Work Day, Career Day, Unity Day, the Gender Fairness Committee, the Black History Month Committee and the Women’s History Month Committee.

Throughout the ceremony, each speaker praised Izetta in their own way, touching on her work ethic, emotional capacity and love for children while the music video for “The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston was played in her honor.

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Justice Dowling also took a moment to focus the ceremony on Charmaine Johnson and the work she has done with the internship program since she took it over.

Interns pictured from left: Mackenzie Jean-Lubin, Jahki John, Leianna Isaacs, Amir Dubose and Devaunte Miller. They were presented with awards for sportsmanship.

“I want to applaud the tireless efforts of Charmaine Johnson who has worked nonstop to ensure that you have an opportunity to participate in workshops that would enrich your lives and some that might save your lives,” Justice Dowling said in reference to some of the programs offered to the interns starting this summer — CPR, teen dating violence, and proper police interaction classes.

Awards were given to participants who stood out during the program, including Namoi Brown and Joel Clyne for their outstanding interviews and Celeste Richards and Shalice Robinson for their exceptional resumes.

Anastasha Thomas, Diana Hvalyk, Bilal Choudhry and Jamilla Woods were all awarded as “interns of the week” for each week of the program. Karime Aguilar, Leianna Isaacs, Jennifer Joly and Halle Paz received awards for generally outstanding performances during the program.

Interns who kept perfect attendance during the program.

Many interns also received awards for perfect attendance and perfect evaluations.

“It was a pleasure having you here,” said Johnson. “I hope you took a lot out of this program.”

Judge Robin Sheares speaks during the interns’ closing ceremony.

Judge Robin Sheares, who closed the program, reminded the interns, “We got you, and you got us.”

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