Holman ‘Jobs For Kids Program’ intern, Brain T. Grant (Photo by Brian W. Carter)
In spite of a poor economy, the church found a way to get teens employed.
By Kaylee Davis
This summer the Jobs for Kids Program at Holman United Methodist Church has placed 32 children in employment positions across the city. In fact, the Sentinel has been one of the multiple businesses and organizations to take on interns from the program.
Jobs for Kids not only places teens ages 14-17 in internship positions, the program also provides the children with salaries, employment and life skills workshops. During this year’s campaign, the church was able to raise over $43,000 towards the intern’s salaries. Rev. Henry L. Masters is very pleased with this success, sharing, “This year we’ve been pleasantly surprised with a good, healthy response, especially with the economy in the shape that it’s in.”
The program remains afloat with strong church and community support, receiving anywhere from ten to ten thousand dollar donations. With these generous contributions, this year Jobs for Kids was able to enter into its seventh year.
Holman and Rev. Masters are passionate about providing jobs for youth in the community; the program’s first priority is children in need. “Kids need jobs,” Rev. Masters emphasizes. He explains that Holman took on this mission after a troubled child from the community stole money from a church organization. Instead of complaining, Rev. Masters challenged the church to help solve the problem, and Jobs for Kids was developed. “We try to find money within ourselves, meaning our congregation, from friends, and people around the city to garner enough money to be able to put these kids to work,” he says, very aware that the need is greater than the government stimulus and other governmental programs can meet.
For Rev. Masters the most rewarding portion of the program is “just hearing the many comments donors make.” He adds, “The church response has been very affirming.” Coordinator of Jobs for Kids, Nancy Harris, responds, “The most rewarding thing for me has been meeting and speaking with all the young people…It was really enjoyable to meet them and know that I’m going to be able to help them start off, hopefully, in their careers.”
Sentinel Job for Kids interns, Brian Grant and Alysha Conner, prove the program serves as a positive resource for teenagers. 18 year old, El Camino College student Grant feels blessed to have been given such an opportunity, calling it, “Very constructive.” Conner, who is 15 years old and attends Pacific Palisades High School, says of her internship, “It’s been a different experience for me. I’ve had a job…But this is the first paid job I’ve had.”
Both interns began working on July 12 and are excited to gain valuable job experience. They each express strong appreciation for Holman United Methodist’s commitment to children, like themselves, in need of work.
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