On July 29th, an awards luncheon was held to recognize forty-four youth workers for their participation and success in First State's Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). Youth workers, community partners and presenters each received certifications acknowledging their valuable contributions to the program. Mya Henry and Kirah Harmon, two student workers in the program, each gave reflections on their summer work experience. Jamie McNatt from Sussex County Habitat for Humanity Restore (partner site) provided. Mr. Reggie Sample and William Garrett, both participants in First State’s A Second Chance Re-entry Program, shared heartfelt testimonials and powerful words of encouragement to the youth. Their remarks strongly urged them to make good decisions, pursue their educational/career goals, accept responsibility, and make an honest living.
Through funding support from the Delaware Department of Labor and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), these forty - four Sussex County youth ages 14-18 were afforded the opportunity to gain meaningful summer job training and work experience. The youth were placed with partnering organizations—schools, libraries, nonprofit agencies (etc) serving as work sites—where they put in seven weeks (or 210 hours) of work earning $8.25 per hour. An additional component of the summer youth employment program, the youth received skill-building workshops and development training on resume writing, mock interview skills, entrepreneurship, online banking and money management, leadership, college and career planning.
Program Manager Sandi Hagans says the objective of SYEP is to prepare youth for future success (within the classroom and workforce) and to give youth the hands-on training and skills needed to become productive, mature citizens.
First State Community Action Agency has administered the Summer Youth Employment Program for over 16 years.
View more photos and reflections from the July 29 SYEP awards luncheon on Facebook