Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Students Want Their Summer Jobs Back!

We Are The Future!

With just two weeks to go until the 2010 school year begins, several students protested outside the John Wilson building on Monday in an effort to get Mayor Adrian Fenty to find money to continue this year's D.C. summer jobs program.

The student-protesters said their summer jobs helped prepared them for life, taught them cooking skills, and about health.

Student-protestors in front of the John A.Wilson Building want their summer jobs back. Photo/CD Brown.
The students also became advocates of ridding their community of bad food and liquor stores and enhanced their want for more organic-like grocery stores like Harris Teeter.

"[There aren't] too many grocery stores", said Donald Simon. "Just a lot of liquor stores and take out."

Members of the group said that having a summer job afforded them the opportunity to buy their own school clothes.

"Things that I didn't have last year, I have now", said Melody Wynn, fourteen.  "I can get my school clothes on time."

The students obtained their jobs from the SHIRE youth program.  SHIRE, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the promotion of health and wellness for all people, stands for the Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc.

"We learned so much from this program and it was very beneficial", said fourteen-year old Morgan Smiley.  "It was very informative."

While the students were camped out in front of Mayor Fenty's office they told us Fenty drove by and just looked at them. 

"He just looked at us and rode past." 

The summer jobs program was cut for lack of funding and was halted over a week ago.

The student-protestors, ranging from 14 to 17 years of age told us the program needed at least $4.2m to continue. 

Fenty is up for re-election in the District's mayoral race this Fall and faces challenger, council member Vincent  Gray

Former D.C. mayor Marion Barry was instrumental in starting the District Youth’s Employment Act of 1979, an ambitious undertaking that guaranteed a summer job to D.C. youth regardless of their economic status.

In 2009 he fought to shorten the program to just six weeks in order to save the city money.

Looks like baseball stadiums and convention centers weren't included in those 'money saving' projects.

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