In an effort to provide Chicago’s youth with valuable work experience that will keep them engaged during their summer break, CPS and the Department of Family Support Services (DFSS) have hired 245 young people to assist with moving furniture, technology and learning materials between sending and welcoming schools.
“Engaging youth and community members as our partners in this work is part of our shared mission of providing children with a safe and seamless transition to welcoming schools in the fall,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. “We want to take every opportunity to work side by side with our communities in this effort as we work toward putting all of Chicago’s children on a path to success.”
The young people filling these roles live in the communities surrounding sending and welcoming schools, and were selected by One Summer Chicago – an initiative that streamlines summer job applications and fills employment opportunities available to Chicago residents ages 16-24.The majority of these employees will be responsible for packing up and moving furniture and other learning tools, while a smaller percentage will be charged with disabling, transporting and installing technology equipment for all sending and welcoming schools.
Ciera Cooper, a CPS alumnus who graduated from Marconi Community Academy and Al Raby High School, is one of these summer hires, and is finding the experience to be a positive one thus far.
“It’s hard physical work,” said Ciera, who began her employment by moving and sorting classroom furniture at Calhoun Elementary, “but it’s good, because it keeps all of us active and healthy.”
Ciera has worked as a CNA and cosmetologist, and appreciates the opportunity to earn some extra income and get to know new people. She and her peers began their jobs on July 1 and have been told that their positions will help ensure that students at welcoming schools have the resources they need for success on the first day of the 2013-14 school year.
“It’s a good program for everyone,” said Ciera. “It’s important work that has to get done, and it helps us build our communication skills and get used to working with others.”