Empowering leaders: Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO)

Jun 28, 2023

Rodney’s journey with CEO led him to a full-time role, where he empowers and supports youth involved with the juvenile justice system.

Rodney Lemon came to the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) in October 2021. He completed CEO’s orientation and joined the transitional work crews to build work experience and income stability. Immediately, the Site Supervisors who oversee CEO’s work crews recognized Rodney’s hard work and dedication to changing his circumstances. While working on CEO’s crews, Rodney maintained perfect attendance, and he even volunteered to speak to incoming orientation classes at CEO. Rodney is passionate about giving back and motivating other CEO participants looking to positively change their lives. 

It is because of these traits and his performance as a CEO participant that Rodney was nominated by the local program staff to join the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The ELP is a short-term apprenticeship-style program in which participants with an interest in careers at CEO or similar organizations can receive paid on-the-job training and assist CEO staff with delivering a range of programmatic services. ELP members serve as human services interns to assist in the delivery of CEO’s Credible Messenger Initiative (CMI) programming and trauma-informed services. As CEO Philadelphia’s first ELP member, Rodney supported the local Constituent Advancement Manager with the implementation of CMI services in Philadelphia. 

In May 2022, Rodney was hired full-time as an Outreach Specialist at the Urban Youth Alliance International, Inc. PhillyConnect where he develops resources and supports youth involved with the juvenile justice system.