Southeast Faculty Host Employment Program for Youth in Foster Care


From left are John Radu, Dr. Monica Radu, Jibrel Haneef and Dr. Kristen Sobba.

Southeast Missouri State University faculty members Dr. Monica Radu, assistant professor of sociology, and Dr. Kristen Sobba, assistant professor of criminal justice, recently collaborated with the Missouri Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division, the Juvenile Office of the 32nd Judicial District, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), and the Youth Opportunity Program to present an employment program for youth in foster care.

Nine youth participated in the program that included presentations on “Applying for Your First Job,” “Dress for Success” and “Tips for Preparing for Your First Job Interview.”

Dr. Kristen Sobba, left, demonstrates how to tie a tie as Dr. Monica Radu, right, explains each step.

The youth also engaged in interactive activities where they developed resumes, learned to tie a tie, and participated in mock interviews with community volunteers John Radu and Jibrel Haneef.

“Practice makes perfect, so it was great to watch some of the nerves disappear after they were finished with their interview,” said Taylor Wichert, Cape Girardeau County deputy juvenile officer, about the youths’ experiences in the mock interviews.

The event was made possible through a grant with Community Foundation of the Ozarks.