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New Haven program gives students $2,000 to work a summer job

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker
Molly Ingram
New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker

The New Haven summer program Youth at Work, which kicked off its first day at the beginning of July, is supporting nearly 750 students aged 14-21 with a summer job.

Gwendolyn Williams, the director of New Haven’s youth and recreation department, said at a kickoff celebration for the program that the opportunity allows young people to learn what having a job is like, which also sets a strong foundation for future career opportunities. The paycheck doesn’t hurt either.

“If the student works all of their hours for the five weeks, they have the potential of walking away, grossing $2,000 for the summer,” she said.

“The joy that I have out of everything that goes on is that we are giving the child the ability to answer the rhetorical question from their parents, 'Do you have McDonald’s money?' and the answer is, 'Yes, I do!'”

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said the program also allows students to make stronger connections with different parts of the city. “It’s a really inspiring way for our young people to make some money, get those professional skills, but also have a real impact on our community,” he said.

Elicker listed the city’s fire department, public library and schools as a few of the organizations that offered students work as a part of the program. The ‘youth at work’ began their summer jobs on July 1, and will stay employed through August 2, working 25 hours a week and earning $16/hour.

Eda Uzunlar (she/her) is a reporter for WSHU.

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