"America's young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they've got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job. It's important for their future, and for America's…That's why today, we're launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America's youth"
As the White House and Department of Labor kick off the Summer Jobs+program, we continue our series of blog posts highlighting the work that Drug Free Communitiesgrantees are doing to help young people find jobs, while also supporting healthy, drug-free communities.
Today, we highlight the Brandywine Health Foundation’s ServiceCorps Program. The ServiceCorps is afree program combining an 8-week employment experience with a challenging life and leadership skills development curriculum.
Each summer, 40 students between the ages of 14 and 18 in the Coatesville Area School District in Pennsylvania are selected to participate in the ServiceCorps program. Students are assigned to various work sites throughout the community, where they will work for the entire 8-week period, engagingin full-time employment.
Each Friday of the program, participants take part in the skills and leadership development component of the program, called Resource Days. Resource Days are an opportunity for staff to connect with youth and for participants to talk to one other about lessons learned, share great stories about their experiences, and address challenges they have faced in their workplaces. Resource Days are also a chance to display the gifts and talents in the room, and develop the students’ leadership abilities. In addition to the skill-building, students receive hourly wages for the 35 hours worked per week.
Photo: Kourtne’ Harden, Henok Abraham, Samuel Brown, and Kai Tooles, ServiceCorps participants at the Brandywine Hospital, their worksite.
ServiceCorps students also complete a student-led, community-wide service project. This summer, ServiceCorps will build on its successful ServiceCorps Recycling and Living Green Festival. Youth will expand on the existing plans and create their own plans to implement the recycling awareness and collection event.
During last years’ ServiceCorps program, participating students completed a total of 9,882 hours of community service, 19.25 hours of leadership training, and 10 hours of life-skills training while earning a total of $74,000 in wages. ServiceCorps students leave the programinspired and prepared to become healthy, contributing members of the greater Coatesville community.
We congratulate the Brandywine Health Foundation for their efforts to encourage summer employment for youth in their community and to build a drug-free workforce for the future. For more information, please visit: http://brandywinefoundation.org/cyi/meet-our-youth-making-difference-coatesville