Plainfield youth learn life lessons from Local 19 members at Queen City Mentoring Academy

During the summer, some kids want to be hanging out by the pool or running around outside with their friends. But the youth in the Queen City Mentoring Academy, run by members of Plainfield Local 19, are built differently.

The academy just celebrated the graduation of its eighth class. The four-week program is run by members of Local 19, volunteers and junior mentors who graduated from the academy themselves.

Starting in 2014, the free-of-charge program was started by Plainfield Officer Jihad Carter, Detective Jesse McNeill, Detective Ronald James, Detective Michael Gordon and Officer Bernel Harrison. Over the four weeks, cadets participate in physical training, mock courtroom trials, drill and ceremony practice.

They also receive visits from UCERT, New Jersey State Police, the Plainfield Fire Department and EMTs.