13 SUMMER INTERNS - 1 TRIP TO THE MALL - SCHOOL CLOTHES FOR A YEAR!
Thirteen youth from completed their summer internships last week. All too often youth like these are recruited into local gangs and the cycle of violence and poverty continues in neighborhoods like
Without a support system, skills, and alternative activities, these youth lack what they need to succeed. Particularly in the summer when the rhythm of school is long forgotten, the youth do not have productive or positive outlets for their energy and time. While many youth from higher income homes and communities are obtaining summer jobs, these youth are extremely unlikely to secure work. This continues to put them a step behind their peers in honing skills and demonstrating responsibility that enable them to secure more work in the future.
As the internships were coming to a close and we were getting ready to give them their promised stipends of $200 a piece I had some people in the community question what the money would really be used for. Some guessed it would be used to buy weed, others thought they would blow it on chips and candy, while others offered equally shortsighted comments. The truth: every single intern wanted money to buy new clothes for school.
I am extremely proud of their energy, commitment, and hard work this summer - but even more proud of their responsible decision to buy school clothes. Our first summer here we sponsored 3 interns. This summer we sponsored 13 interns. Next summer we hope to increase the opportunity even more.