14 November 2006

Esther has a job!

A few months of applying, worrying, and stressing are officially over! Esther has a job!

It's a managerial position with a non-profit, social services organization. She will be in charge of expanding the operations of the group both financially and geographically and will have a team of two working for her. From what Esther has described, it sounds like a good organization. Too often, non-profits either focus on research without action or action without research, leading to unimpressive results. This group is different in that they do everything. Once the researchers (sociologists, psychologists, criminologists, etc...) come up with a good idea, it is immediately enacted in the field. Rather than letting good ideas go to waste (or acting without thought) this organization tries to close both ends of the loop.

Furthermore, rather than trying to address criminal tendencies in youth once they have already been expressed (e.g. a 15 year-old boy is caught spraying graffiti on a wall) they look for parameters that are known to lead to criminality and work with kids between the ages of 6 and 12. This is controversial because it implies that an individual is predestined to a life of crime. Of course this isn't the case, but when you look at 50 different parameters (as this organization does) you can often see trends based on geography, family structure, etc... that make a child a likely candidate. This group then takes the child and puts him/her through an intensive 2-year program, coordinated with the school, family, and police, in the hopes of preventing the child from becoming a criminal in the future. Because the program is so intensive and the organization has only existed for a few years, it takes a narrow and deep approach to juvenile criminality. Rather than meeting with a few hundred kids once a week for a few months, the organization is deeply involved in the lives of a few children every day for two years.

In any event, it sounds like a good opportunity for Esther. It has a fancy title that she can put on her resume, the salary is right, and it seems like it is a good organization working for a good cause. Needless to say, we are both very pleased.

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