TJJD’s direct care staff take on jobs that are detailed and demanding, facing new twists and challenges every day as they work to help young people find success in life.
Our staff shoulder these responsibilities because they know there is no work more consequential and few jobs as rewarding.
This week we proudly salute them -- our TJJD Youth Development Coaches, caseworkers, therapists, trainers and all campus staff -- as we recognize their determination and dedication during National Correctional Officer’s Week (May 2-May 8.) Each day we’ll highlight a new staffer, kicking off today with a profile of Trainer Lloyd Serna of the Evins campus.
Lead Trainer, Evins Campus
For the past 16 years, Lloyd Serna has filled many roles at Evins Juvenile Correctional Facility leading up to his current one as the Lead Trainer.
Serna launched his career supervising youth in the dorms and quickly advanced up the ranks to become a dorm supervisor of youth and staff.
He also advanced quickly after moving into the Training Department, where he was promoted to Lead Trainer in 2017 overseeing the orientations and training of more than 200 employees at Evins.
“He is an incredible asset,” said Chris Ellison, Manager of the TJJD Training Academy based in Austin. “He is knowledgeable and does an outstanding job of sharing his knowledge with others. Lloyd is an incredibly positive individual who will help out with TJJD Training wherever he is needed.”
Serna helps assure that all employees take required trainings to maintain safety on campus and learn the appropriate ways to work with youth.
Training modules also cover the rules and practices around employment discrimination, the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Altogether, new hires and existing employees may take, at various times and depending on their position, up to 38 training modules.
Serna said he looks forward to continuing to build the department and credits its success to teamwork, citing his colleagues: Training Specialist Lucinda Garcia and Learning and Performance Coaches Jose Barraza and Jeanette Trevino. “I couldn’t do it all without them,” he said.
Serna and the other trainers help prepare new hires for the challenges they’ll face and counsel the new employees to “push through those challenges” and not give up.
“The old cliché that this job is not for everyone…well…I think this job can be for anyone,” Serna said, “if you have it in your heart to want to change lives.”
Serna, who is originally from Mercedes, refers to his wife, one girl, four boys, and two step-daughters as the “Serna bunch!” He loves to spend time on family activities and is an avid golfer who likes to play at different golf courses around the Rio Grande Valley.
- Fidel Garcia, Community Resource Coordinator, Evins