Starting Them Off Young; Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Program

The United Way of Denton County is a partner and one of several Denton businesses participating in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Program this summer. The program is an 8 week, paid work opportunity that strives to provide meaningful job experiences for local high school students and recent high school graduates of Denton. Through the program, participants will have access to job skills training, career development resources, mentorship, and fulfilling work experience that will create connections for personal and professional advancement.

“The program was conceived in the spirit of helping youth that typically over the summer may be at home or may be in risky situations,” said United Way of Denton County President and CEO Gary Henderson. “We wanted to flip that upside down and give them a work environment with the best business leaders in Denton.”IMG_1866

Thanks to contributions from the community and businesses in town at the #DentonMeansBusiness 5k and Fun Run in April 2016, a $1,000 donation toward the Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Programs helped high school junior, Jesse Perez, obtain a paid position at The United way of Denton County.

The interview process was nerve-racking for Jesse. “This is actually my first job ,” Jesse explained. “I’ve learned about the interview process and that I shouldn’t be nervous.”

The program philosophy is that by providing summer jobs and mentorship to young people they are providing the necessary impetus to encourage positive personal and career advancement.

Jesse has been working with a mentor during his time with United Way of Denton County and it has made a positive impact on him.

“I want to be a mentor maybe when I’m in college so that’s something I’ve been working on,” Perez said. “In the future I want to be a forensic pathologist and get my PhD in that with a minor in dance.”

The program values youth with the belief that young people can be an extremely valuable asset in the work place by providing significant contributions to the labor force and providing a different perspective.

“I would encourage employers who haven’t had a chance to be a part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Program to strongly consider getting involved next summer,” Henderson said. “It would be great to see the number of businesses involved grow and grow each year.”

The Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Program is a partnership between the City of Denton, United Way of Denton County and the Denton Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Mayor’s Summer Youth Jobs Program please visit the City of Denton website.

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