President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” This quote comes to mind as we enter the final weeks of the Summer Youth Employment Program. I could not be more pleased with the success of what I consider to be one of our most valued programs. This would not be so without the hard work and dedication of a lot of people most notably, Karen Colon Hayes and Kelli Collomb. From orientations to work readiness trainings, they have both given it their all to ensure that our youth have a positive experience and learn the skills they need to succeed in the work force.
This year we have placed approximately 300 students in over 50 different sites. Every student has had the opportunity to learn interviewing and resume writing, improve communication and interpersonal skills, and explore possible career options. We have had our youth working in engineering, accounting, energy efficiency, human resources, landscaping, administration, and in camps as counselors. One of my recent favorite stories is that of a student who wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do but because of the summer jobs program she is now pursuing a career in teaching kids with disabilities.
Again, none of this would be possible without the leadership of Ms. Hayes and Ms. Collomb and their team of community organizations, business partners, school personnel and our city’s Human Resources and Payroll Departments. There are also a number of organizations that have stepped forward to be a part of this valuable program. Commonwealth Corporation, Metro North Regional Employment Board, the Bayrd Foundation, Malden Industrial Aid Society and the Malden City Council have all played a key role in making our program one of the best around!