September 09, 2010 10:06 ET

JVS' Summer Youth Employment Program Prepares Disadvantaged Students for Back to School

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2010) -  With the economy still down, competition for summer jobs was fierce. For the students in JVS' Summer Youth Employment program, a summer job was not just about saving up for a car or a new pair of jeans, it often meant the difference between being able to go back to school, help their families buy groceries, or even provide for their own children. Recently, JVS celebrated the successes of the 50 teens who participated in the program with a special graduation before the new school year.

Funded by the County of Los Angeles, youth ages from 14-21 were placed in internships in a variety of industries, with their salaries paid by the program. 

Said Jon Lamirault, JVS' Youth Programs Supervisor, "Not only does this program give these youth a chance to work and earn money to help themselves and their families, it teaches them a valuable work ethic that many carry with them when they go back to school. Our program participants have faced a lot of barriers in their lives, such as gang involvement, teen pregnancy, and poverty."

Tina Hoang, L.A. County's Program Manager for WIA (Workforce Investment Act) Operations, who spoke at the event said, "We are very pleased to be partnering with JVS, offering these youth the opportunity to see beyond the boundaries of their neighborhoods with work experience that will open new doors for them."

In addition to helping the students, the Summer Youth Employment program also gave back to the community, with many students working at entry-level positions in summer camps, recreational parks, nonprofits, administrative offices, and theater arts programs. William Berry and Ragan Carlile from The Ford Theatre and Foundation spoke about their efforts to expand access to the arts and have hired two SYEP interns.

Barely 20, Ulises M. struggled every day to overcome his past gang involvement and learn how to raise his young son. Placed as a summer camp assistant, he was out of his element, but rose to the challenge, taking four buses each day to get to work, arriving on time and being a team player. Now a strong advocate for JVS' Youth programs, he plans to go back to school, get a job, and become even more involved with his child.

As L.A.'s first and most experienced non-profit dedicated exclusively to employment and training services, JVS has helped hundreds of thousands of people overcome barriers to achieve self-sufficiency. Working with federal, state, county and city agencies to ensure everyone has access to the help they need, JVS' clients include downsized career professionals, at-risk, foster and probation youth, people with disabilities, those transitioning from welfare to work and newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Last year, JVS assisted nearly 30,000 individuals from 35 different locations across Southern California. 

For more information, visit our new website, become a fan of JVS Los Angeles on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @JVSLA.

Contact Information

    Melissa Jarvis-Prieto
    (323) 761-8888 x8774
    (909) 489-7948 (Mobile)