The Youth Advocate Program recognized Rae Domicolo at “Community Youth Advocate of the Year” at the Volney Town Park at its 9th annual “Community Day celebration”
David Canfield, County Director said “Every year the Youth Advocate Program picks one individual from the County of Oswego that we feel goes above and beyond the call of duty working with youth and specifically youth that the Youth Advocate Program also works with. We call this award our “Community Youth Advocate of the Year” award. The Youth Advocate program holds this award in high esteem”
Mr. Canfield stated “Rae Domicolo is a Senior Probation officer with the Oswego County Probation Department. Rae works with kids in the Oswego City area who are excessively truant. Oswego County is extremely fortunate to have Rae because of her “never give up” attitude. This attitude is expressed daily in her dealing with kids, families, in meeting and when talking with the general public”. Mr. Canfield went on to say “Over the years I have sat with Rae on meeting after meeting. The partnership, the trust, the moral compass that Rae has shown over the years shows up day in and day out.”
This award is more than just someone standing here getting her name on a plaque, but is rather a person being given the recognition that her work over the years has mattered to kids and families and most and matter to the future of our community. Her dedication has touched thousands of lives; it is certain with many of those, the seeds of wisdom, compassion and the knowing that that child could succeed made a difference. Planting those seeds is like planting an Acorn. You plant it, give it some nurturing and walk away. Much to your surprise, years later you see that acorn again. It is now a grown tree, it has branches, it is strong and it is the symbol of all the good you put into it.
Rea began her career as a Probation Officer in 1984, and held positions at Catholic Charities, Employment and Training, DSS, prior to probation holding various positions; e.g. Youth Counselor, Director of Youth Counseling, Youth Vocational Counseling, Director of Young Volunteers in Action, a federal grant.
She grew up in St Lawrence County, moved to Oswego to attend college in 1975, and never left. She has worked with juveniles in Oswego County for 35 years. She has served as a Probation Officer from 1984 until 2004 when she was promoted to Senior Probation Officer.
She decided to become a Probation Officer at the age of 15 after meeting with a Probation Office in St. Lawrence County after being referred there for being caught at a party. She tells me she had to meet with a probation officer named Richard Nells, he listened to her and believed that she was “just at the party”, not drinking. She decided that being a probation officer that would advocate for juveniles was to be her life ambition. After high school went to Cayuga Community College in Auburn and finished at SUNY at Oswego, studied Criminal Justice Administration and then Public Justice. She took civil service test for probation while employed by Catholic Charities. She interviewed in Oswego County with a guy named Dick Nells, who was the Director of Probation in Oswego County in 1984, and was then hired. After she was offered a Probation Officer position by Director Nells, she told him the story of meeting with a Probation Officer in St. Lawrence County, it just so happened to be the same Richard Nells who had just hired her. She told him how he had made just a strong impact on her at that one meeting and how he had influenced her decision to work with at risk youth. He didn’t remember meeting her, as it was a brief encounter but had such an impact on her. She has always tried to keep in mind that any contact she has with a juvenile, or family has the power to make either a positive or negative impact on their lives.