On August 9, First State Community Action Agency held a ceremony recognizing 88 teen workers from Sussex and Kent Counties for their participation and accomplishments in the Summer Youth Employment Program. More than 100 individuals attended the event held at First State Community Action Agency in Georgetown.
The August 9th awards luncheon recognized these young people for their hard work and success in the program, as well as acknowledged supervisors from the partnering agencies which served as training sites for the youth. Two summer workers, 17 year old Greenwood resident Tykee Frisby and 17 year old Courtland Suggs from Dover, gave reflections about their work experience and growth. Suggs said his experience working at the New Generation Summer Camp in Dover helped him build patience, communication skills, and taught him responsibility.
Representatives from the job training sites also gave reflections, including Renee Roberson from the Department of Labor who praised 17 year old youth worker, Shania Hendricks for her excellent work, conduct, and customer service skills. "Shania is a manager's delight," Roberson said. "She is intelligent, articulate, personable, and she dressed like a professional. Roberson adds, "she [Shania] learned our policies and was able to implement policies with customers. She worked very well with the customers."
Event Speaker, Tyrone Jones (Chief Impact Officer with United Way of Delaware) gave powerful remarks on what he coined, formulas for success. P [preparation] + O [opportunity] = S [success] & K [knowledge] + U [understanding] = W [wisdom]. Addressing the youth, Jones stated, "Don't walk away from this thinking it's just a job, or just a pay check--walk away knowing you took full advantage of this opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed."
The Summer Youth Employment Program currently provides youth ages 14-18 with job training and valuable work experience during the summer months. The program is currently administered in Sussex and Kent Counties by First State Community Action Agency and is largely funded through grants from the Delaware Department of Labor and Community Services Block Grants (CSBG). Youth gained hands-on job training skills from 45 partnering organizations—schools, libraries, nonprofit agencies, etc—which served as work sites. Teens are employed for approximately seven weeks (or 210 hours) at these partner sites each earning $8.25 per hour. Moreover, youth engaged in professional development and skills training workshops on job readiness, professionalism, and workplace conduct, financial literacy, civic responsibility, college and career planning.