2001-06-02 / Letters

Praising Kids and Sponsors Dear Editor:

Praising Kids and Sponsors
Dear Editor:

The 2001 Summer Work Employment (SWEP) is under way, moving forward and promises to be a success.

For the last three weeks I have been working as Project Coordinator at RDRC and, on behalf of RDRC, would like to offer thanks to the principal and custodial staff of JHS 198 for their support with the enrollment sessions.

Equally I am thankful to the sponsoring organizations and businesses that have committed to helping the young people by "hiring" them during the summer. These organizations and businesses are to be commended for their institution commitment(s) to "put their monies where their mouths are."

I really want to especially give thanks to the youth themselves. Close to 1000 youth have, thus far, submitted applications for employment. You know what that means? That means that there are several hundred young people actually willing to work and engage in meaningful and constructive employment to legally earn money. At the symbolic level, every application we receive is a small but profound contribution to the de-construction of the myth that young people don’t want to work.

I want to thank those same youth who have turned up to enrollment at JHS 198 and have conducted themselves in orderly fashion---without incident.

Ninety-nine percent of our youth are good with great potential. With the proper resources at their disposal, and the proper guidance, direction and discipline, I believe they can and will seek mechanisms to positively impact their own lives an their communities.

So as I continue to work for our youth, with the RDRC, I ask for your assistance and contribution as adults. I need you. The youth need you.

If you have a business or organization, consider providing an internship or two for our youth to learn and grow. There is no financial obligation on your behalf. And if you don’t have a business or organization, you can still help as an adult. How? By helping to "raise our village."

This summer if you see my youth, your youth—our youth working, compliment them. Encourage them. Or if you see them behaving in such a way that it does not positively reflect them, their families, their employers or this agency—call me and tell me. Seriously.

They need to know that we are indeed watching them because we genuinely care for them and their future. They need to know that they are part of a larger community and that we are accountable to one another.

TIMOTHY AARON-STYLES

Project Coordinator

RDRC 2001 SWEP


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