Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Summer Youth Job Enrichment Project


Washington DC is a city in need of many services that cost money. For example the streets, parks, rivers and forest need to be cleaned up, the plastic, glass and aluminum containers scattered all around the city need to be collected and recycled.Thier are many historic african american communities and niegborhoods in Washington DC that need to be relandscaped and cleaned up. There is also a rich and vibrant African American culture here as well which permeates the city, which basically means DC and all of its institutiions are infused with the spirit and culture of African Americans.

With this in mind and knowing that tourism is a huge money making industry in the Distric of Columbia why shouldnt youth from Washington DC work as Tour Guides. Jobs such as these would kill several social and economic birds ( so to speak) with one stone. Both tourist and youth would gain rich expiences from such ventures and the city or orginization running such programs would also generate some of the needed revenue to keep funding of such programs potentionally ongoing until no longer needed. I mention these things because a few years ago several hundred youth in the Distic of Columbia who wanted to work couldnt, even though thier was money in the city budget for it. To someone like me this is an unacceptable as well as annoying thing to even hear of. It is also another sign of the failure of our local goverment that is supposed to effeciently serve the residents of Washington DC. If kids are willing to work and thier is money in the budget then I believe those kids should have a job, simply because there are more than enough things that need to be done and that can be done to make Washington DC a better place for all who live and visit here.

This also offends me on a personal level because I am someone who was able to earn money for the first time because of summer youth job programs. I ( and Id bet thousands of others)was able to buy myself and even a dinner for the first time in my life. Summer youth job programs are a god send for many communities all over the united states and keep thousands of young american youth off the streets and productive during summer daylight hours until school returns. These programs touch a lot of people all across america especially poor and inner city youth. Here are some services that I believe youth can provide for the city

Environmental clean up and mitigation services.These sevices would be provided by Environmental Corp's consisting of Washington DC youth. These youth would be supervised by interns majoring in public service and people already employed with environmetal agencies like green peace. The skills they would learn would give them some of the skills needed to work for environmental agencies, fema ect.
Duties would consist of.

Cleaning up the woods and parks surronding the rivers and the rivers themselves
Various types of environmental work is needed to be done in a city like washington ( or whatever your local city is) such as Re-Introduction of animals and plants or erradication of Invasive species of plants and animals.
Planting and raising of trees all in specificically designated areas.
Removal of graffity from city buildings and bridges.
Various other duties as needed.
Tour Guides serivices

African American youth could guide tourist through African American heritage routes across the city of Washington DC. The youth working in these jobs would learn some marketting, costumer service and public speaking skills. Thier are already companies in Washington DC which do this so they could be used as models to work from.

Duties would consist of.
Guides along historic routes such as the U street corridor all over the city.
Guides to all of the cities monuments and musuems.

Band, Musician and a Youth Theatrical Corp.
Thier services would include.

Creation of concerts and community showcases put on by local youth, featuring music by youth and showcases with positive and socially uplifting messages held for free at recreation centers all over the country. The backrounds and stage props would be created and built by youth workers. Duties would include.
Performing shows and plays in various recreation centers all across the city.
Playing music for the citizens of the distric of columbia.
Creating Griot and storytelling productions for the kids of Washington
Recording the Slave Narratives and other classic African American writings and making them available to all people via internet audio file. Here is an example, also youth could conduct and record interviews with lifelong residence of the Washington DC metroarea record them send them by email to uploaded and made available at sites such as The Black History Audio Journal

Math and Science Camp
Goals are to help youth get a better understanding of math by tutoring in the areas of math and science. In our goal to facillitate an attitude of learning we would use innovative and modern learning tools and technology. Duties would include.
Taking and passing weekly test.
Taking daily courses in math or science as well as college prep to improve general knowledge of subjects and making it easier for youth who want to to go to college.
Training and leadership project.
We could take a group of older summer youth kids and train them to work with the younger kids this would not only supply the youth with Jobs but it would also help take care of staffing needs for the overall project. The youth comming out of the leadership program would be able to work as leaders but also assist and create further specific and target projects. Such as programs specifically designed to get as many young black men off the streets and into evening and weekend nurturing and development programs as posible. These things would inlude music, arts, job training and other social programs.

A reading and writing camp. Mission would be to expose and train talented writers in workshops. These workshops would be designed to develop skits and plays ( to be performed by a youthcore) to be presented for free to the residents of Washington DC especially during the summer hours.

At risk youth development camp
These jobs would feature a serious and comprehensive youth nurturing and development program. Maybe some tough, comprehensive but extremely enjoyable and rewarding programs. This type of work should be carried out by qualified and strong supervisors. Also their would be nurturing and mentorship aspects within this program.

From past volunteer and community work I have found that thier are already forces that do the type of work and projects I have already mentioned. I have worked with interns and volunteers for various projects.

Here are things I have personal expierence at that could be easily done and would bear great fruit towards the development many similar types of projects.
Recruiting College interns. Interns could be recruited in the areas of child development and community service.
Making contact with city, ward nieghborhood officials for supplies, support and other needed resources.

Working with school officials to get space to host such programs.


Native Son said...

I could not have said it better. Youth summer jobs are so important. A lot of our youth don't even know how to wirte a resume yet alone have the skills needed to become productive in the work force. Summer youth job programs help children gain the experience they need.

mark said...

We need to take the resources we have and control of these programs in our hoods and use them for uplift of the communities. Thats just my oppinion.

Lola Gets said...

I am a native Washingtonian, but I do hate Marion Barry. The ONLY thing I did like about him was his Summer Youth Leadership Program (I think that was the title). That program was the best thing to ever hit this city and our youth. Unfortunately, that program hasnt recovered fully since he was removed from office. Which is a shame, for all the reasons you mentioned.

mark said...

I do not like Marion Barry either, see I beleive that if you are prominant or a politician and you mess up really bad you should never get on tv once again. That way you can never humilate again. Think Marion Barry. That dude is a clown. For godsake if your gonna smoke your crack do by your lonesome in your house, so you never get caught.

The Jesse Love situation is also bothering too, I think he should sit his as# down as well shut.
Although do respect what hes done in the struggle.