Joseph Clemmons Program Moves in New Direction

October 18, 2019
Campers at SLCC

The Joseph D. Clemmons Job Training Program (JCT) has taken a new direction, transforming from a 2-week job training program to an initiative addressing institutional racism within the Connecticut Conference and at Silver Lake Conference Center.

In summer of 2013, Rev. Da Vita “Day” McCallister piloted the JCT Program with young men of color ages 14-18. With a motto of “Excellence is the Minimum Requirement,” this program made an immediate impact on the lives of youth that participated. Branching out to become a co-ed program the following year, young men and women got the opportunity to embark on a life changing two-week program, striving for excellence and building character that would last for years to come. Since then, over 50 young people have been impacted by the JCT program.

After 5 years of the program, Director Isaac Monts began to envision something bigger. With goals of diversifying Silver Lake Conference Center (SLCC), investing in the lives of youth of color, and the creation of more multiracial and multicultural events and programs, Monts piloted the Joseph D. Clemmons Initiative. This initiative includes a scholarship fund for youth of color to attend Silver Lake Conference Center. This past summer, The Joseph D. Clemmons SLCC Scholarship Fund awarded over $15,000 in scholarships. Youth of color were able to attend SLCC and experience the fun associated with God’s backyard without the anxiety created by financial burdens.

"Thanks to the leadership of Isaac Monts, this initiative is already making a difference. I have never seen camp so diverse!", said Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi.

Youth of color interested in attending SLCC in 2020 can find information about the Joseph Clemmons Scholarship when registering for camp sessions. Information about the 2020 camp season will be available on the Silver Lake Conference Center website in early 2020.

Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center

Silver Lake Camp & Retreat Center is a ministry of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.
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