Jennifer Kooyoomjian, an Intensive Juvenile Probation Officer for Prince William County, has been named a 2018 Ally in Prevention by SCAN of Northern Virginia. Leon Harris, NBC4, presented the 16th Annual Ally in Prevention Awards at a luncheon on April 6. Carine McCandless, New York Times bestselling author of The Wild Truth, gave the Keynote Address.
Jennifer Kooyoomjian has built a career on building relationships—with at-risk youth, with educators, with child welfare and juvenile justice professionals. And those relationships have undoubtedly changed the lives of teens throughout her community, as she provides enhanced supervision of high risk offenders. In her work with juvenile gang members, sex offenders, trafficking victims and other high-risk youth, she witnesses a stark truth—many of these youths are victims themselves, and we as a community are responsible for breaking this cycle.
Jennifer works every day to get them the support they need to make this happen, which can include everything from anger management skills to crisis management to job readiness. She is known in Prince William as the “go-to” expert for intense issues like gangs and human trafficking as they relate to teenagers. She helped to develop the Court Service Unit Gang Management Team Program and is a member of the Virginia Gang Investigators Association, the Greater Prince William Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Prince William County Schools Comprehensive Child Study Team. Jennifer also serves as Board Member for the Greater Prince William Child Protection Partnership. But her work is about much more than sitting on boards and going to trainings.
“When Jennifer sees something that needs to be done,” notes her nominator, “she gets to work. If she can’t solve an issue, she will keep looking for support and connections to make it happen.” Her ability to build bridges with high-risk youth is invaluable, and she believes it all begins with the other relationships she’s tended over the years:
“I value the change and growth that I witness in the young people I work with,” notes Jennifer, “and I often call on my professional connections to help bridge the gap that is needed to help my clients succeed. I value those connections and the time that other committed professionals share in this effort to serve.”
Jennifer’s work is certainly serving the youth in her circles, children who desperately need a connection to change the trajectory of their lives. As her nominator shares: “Jennifer epitomizes the value that a caring adult can have on a child’s life.”
Jennifer is grateful to her parents, K. Jack & Gerry Kooyoomjian, and her husband, Anand Arockiasamy, who is a Special Agent with Diplomatic Security Services. She has two beautiful sisters, Jessica Dunn and Melissa Kooyoomjian, and two nieces and two nephews who remind her of the joy that surrounds her.
SCAN also launched Year 2 of the 2018 Northern Virginia Child Abuse Prevention Campaign, Parenting Can Be Tough, at the event.
“I believe that parenting is one of the most challenging jobs there is,” noted Jennifer. “SCAN’s campaign reminds parents that they are not alone and that there are resources out there for support, without judgement. This campaign offers encouragement and is a gentle reminder that challenges are expected on this journey.”