Danielle Torrez, Dept. of Human Services, Division of Youth Corrections, Security Officer at Zebulon Pike Youth Services Center, 8 years with the state.
“As a DYC security officer, it is rewarding seeing the kids change, them saying thank you and letting you know that you’ve had an impact on their life. It is rewarding when the kids update you – and we’ve had quite a few kids in the past few weeks – and say thank you and remind us that us holding them accountable is the reason that they made it.
One of the kids who was a drug addict and all of us thought he would never make it, he ended up calling back and telling us that he was in college and engaged to be married and still sober. Most of the time these kids have no faith in themselves and you have to make them feel as though they have a purpose in this world besides just doing drugs.
The work we do gives people a second chance at life. I got a second chance, I’m a product of rehabilitation, so I believe in it fully, everyone can change. And people need to give back when they’ve been helped out and somebody believed in them. They need to repay that to society and being in Youth Corrections, that’s how I repay my debt to society.
Being a union member gives me a whole different forum to be able to help state workers and the public at the same time through work on the DHS Partnership Team, Employee Management Committee at my facility, the Security Team, the Governor’s Youth Seclusion Board, or talking with legislators at Lobby Day.”