Last spring, Susan Fromme met with a high school sophomore whose grades reflected her struggles in math.
"My intern jumped in and said, ‘I'm good. Let me help you.' And right then and there, she began tutoring the other girl," she recalls, adding that what began in a client meeting has since grown, with other interns taking an active role in academic mentorship.
But ask any intern and they will be the first to say that they gain far more from this experience than they give.
The Frommes show the informal aspects of the job. For instance, how do you go into a school and ask to speak to a student? Where do you go? Whom do you ask?
"Or courtroom presentation, like knowing that you're supposed to stand up when speaking to the judge," adds Hailey Cockerham, a 2011 graduate who now works as a family service specialist. "I learned more from them than a class or orientation could have ever taught me."
In January, Cockerham became the 39th UD intern to be hired by the state.
"I can tell the difference between a new hire with no experience in the juvenile justice system and one of Craig and Sue's kids," says Lisa DiStefano, chief of community services for the Delaware Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services.
Indeed, the Frommes do everything to ensure their interns enjoy a successful career, from practicing mock interviews to introducing the young college students to judges after court hearings.
"Craig and Sue have been incredible mentors, both to their clients and to our interns," says Aaron Fichtelberg, associate professor of criminal justice and internship program director. "Most interns are given the boring work — the photocopying, the filing and faxing. Craig and Sue hide all that. Our students don't worry about paperwork until they're hired."
If the internship is a job-training, resume-building opportunity for students, the Frommes see it as a way to repay their alma mater.
"We've put something together right here in Newark, not as CEOs or company presidents," Craig Fromme explains. "We're just workers. But through this, we've been able to give back."