Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Teens earn summer jobs

Youth Development Initiatives’s LIFT Employment and Academic enrichment Program (LEAP) is putting 29 teens to work this summer.

Teens in the program, ages 14-17, are placed in several businesses throughout Charlotte where they are employed as retail clerks, dry cleaning attendants, maintenance assistants and day camp workers.

The mission behind the program is provide the education and training necessary to get ahead in the workforce.

Teens in LEAP begin during the school year by participating in YDI’s LIFT Life skills Academy. The Academy is a semester-long afterschool program that aims to inspire disadvantaged and/or struggling students to stay in school, improve their grades, maintain attendance, establish good behavior and make wise decisions.

Participants in LIFT are referred by juvenile court counselors and school resource officers. LIFT is primarily funded by the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

LIFT uses a Career and Technical Education-formatted curriculum, called the Life Management Guidance Course, to help students match career options to their personality and interests.  

During the program, students must also attend weekly math and literacy instruction on Fridays throughout the summer to keep their jobs.

(Top)16-year-old Ja’Shari Billups, of Turning Point Academy, works as an attendant at Sunrise Dry Cleaners off Albemarle Road, where he sorts and tags clothing items dropped off by customers.

(Bottom) 15-year-old LIFT participant Jeneha Townes, of Myers Park High, has a job at a consignment shop located on Pecan Avenue.

Photos courtesy of Darryl Bego, President of Youth Development Initiatives.


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