NEW YORK - A summer youth employment program in Mount Vernon has provided hundreds of young, underprivileged teens with summer jobs for years. However, with many businesses still closed or forgoing new hires, for the time being, program leaders have decided to replace jobs with daily virtual educational workshops.
Ordinarily, students would go to work for eight hours a day, learning important life skills like leadership, budgeting, and the initiative to show up.
“Job readiness is essential for the 21st Century,” said Debbie Burrel Butler, Executive Director of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau. “It doesn’t matter if you’re in person or via Zoom, you still need these skills that we’re providing so you can have self-sufficiency in the future.”
This summer, however, students taking part in the program will be required to sign in each morning and take the three-hour workshops online. However, they will still be held accountable for a full work day.
The program, which runs for six weeks, will give every student who completes it successfully a stipend of up to $600.