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Shirk Helps Clara White Grads Get Second Chance


The graduating class in the Clara White Mission’s Janitorial Environmental Services Training program will be seeking to enter the workforce following this Friday’s commencement ceremonies.

Public Defender Matt Shirk hopes that they now hold a better understanding of some steps they can take to get a job because of a presentation he delivered.  Shirk and Assistant Public Defender Melina Buncome-Williams educated the students on the process of sealing and expunging legal records for convicts and provided them with collateral materials including applications to be used in the Duval County Court system.

“The Clara White Mission has a proven history of helping people in this community and as a Board member of the organization I am very proud of our ongoing efforts,” said Shirk. “What’s even more satisfying is visiting their facilities and actually working with their clientele like we did today; that gives me the chance to meet with and get to know the people who have accepted the challenge of the Mission and are looking to contribute to our society.”

Training instructor C.C. Newby hosted Mr. Shirk and Ms. Buncome-Williams who spent an hour with the ten students in the program. In addition to a brief presentation, the distribution of materials and a question and answer period, the attorneys spent one-on-one time with members of the class who are nearing completion of their 16 week training and looking forward to graduation.

“People really do deserve another chance,” continued Shirk. “Each day in the Public Defender’s office, we fight for our clients to gain them that chance. What is impressive about the Clara White Mission is that there is a rigorous screening process to enroll in their programs. You have to be sincere and willing to work hard when entering the training they offer. The success they continue to have shows that the Clara White Mission has gotten it right.”

2 Responses »

  1. This is wonderful! Shirk is doing a fantastic job. Glad I voted for him!

  2. This sort of outreach has been done by the Public Defender in his office for 30 years. It is nothing special or new, the only difference is that Shirk is shouting his works from the rooftops. I am glad I didnt vote for him.