For a number of years a tremendous number of taxpayer-funded programs have been a part of our community. There are programs that deal with almost every aspect of our lives and some of us are familiar with them.
It is surprising to me to learn how many have no knowledge or concern about these programs. Those who are the most concerned are those parents with school age children who need summer employment. My personal concerns have been that a number of programs that I have witnessed lacked what I consider supervision and had limited job growth potential. I saw a group of youths picking up debris. The girls were wearing booty shorts, boys and girls were talking on cell phones and swearing at each other and no one was correcting their actions or attitude. These kinds of actions definitely do not prepare our youths for future employment.
Is providing these youths with a paycheck the only reason for these programs?
I recollect asking a local politician the same question and he responded by saying, “If the people are not satisfied then why don’t the people demonstrate their sense of outrage.”
He was absolutely right because the overwhelming majority refuse to open their mouths or get involved. Ask yourself whether you are one of those silent people, but frequently find fault with some who do speak out?
This summer I witnessed a program at Wilkinsburg High School where its entire focus was to prepare young people for the future. There were 42 youngsters evenly divided between males and females and they were in separate classrooms. There were rules they had to adhere to, such as certain clothes were not permissible, no cell phones, promptness, must have permission from parent for absenteeism, respect for each other and good conduct was mandatory.
Your Sisters Project sponsored the summer program and the executive director is Sister Shirley Muhammad. The focus was on financial literacy, how to budget your money and prepare yourself for not just employment, but more importantly entrepreneurship.
One of the trips the youths took was to Cleveland, Ohio, to visit the Federal Reserve, and it was the first time for every one, including the staff. The program was so impressive that it is my belief that it should be year round, because it will enhance our children’s ability to move on to their life’s work.
Congratulations and thanks to Your Sisters Project.
Kingsley Association needs your financial support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)