Columbus teens head to work during summer break -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus teens head to work during summer break


Now that school is out for the summer, some teens across the country are clocking in.

The US Department of Labor reports less than half of American teenagers age 16 to 19 will head to work this summer.

"I graduated, and my mom told me, 'It's time to be a man,'" Dequindre Coleman laughed.

Coleman recently graduated from Carver High School. The 18-year-old says he is excited about the future.

"I'm going to college for football at Fort Valley," he proudly states.

However, before heading off to school in the fall, like many teens in the Chattahoochee Valley, Coleman set out to find a summer job. 

He has been hired along with a group of other teens ages 14 to 18 to begin working as a youth development professional at the Boys and Girls Club of the Chattahoochee Valley. 

"You're going to have a nervous stomach. I was nervous," Coleman says about beginning orientation.

Filling out  the necessary paperwork from tax documents to physical ability forms summer jobs not only keeps teens off the streets, its a chance for them to learn valuable skills they don't teach in the classroom.

"I was looking at everything and thinking, 'Wow. It's a lot to do for this type of job,'" Coleman says.

Vice President of Operations Marcus McBride says, "It's a way to see that I've got to be responsible with what I make, and what it means to make a living. Those two tools, for teenagers especially, is very important, because it's that gateway from young adulthood to adulthood that's going to make them successful in life.

Teens are also taught how to maintain a professional appearance, time management skills, and money management.  

"I'm saving up for college, school clothes, and I got a little car, so I'm saving up for all of that," Coleman plans.

This is the second summer Aysia Miles has worked at the Boys and Girls Club. The 17-year-old says she's learned invaluable lessons working here. 

"I love the things we do. We mentor kids, and try to push them in the right direction," Miles explains. 

With the economy tanking, many families work together to make ends meet. Miles says her family is no different. 

"I help out my mom. I buy shoes, I love shoes. I also want to save up to buy a car," she says.

Miles believes all teenagers could benefit from joining the workforce.

"If you put your mind to it, I think it's good," she says. "Responsibility plays a big role. I believe by you coming in, no matter what age you are, you should be able to take your responsibility and start on the right foot."

Teenagers in Muscogee and surrounding counties have an advantage looking for summer jobs. That's because the Workforce Investment Act provides 150 minimum wage jobs for five weeks in the summer for teens ages 16 to 21. 

For help finding your teen a job this summer check out theses links:

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