KEY WEST KIDS WRAP UP IDLE HANDS SUMMER JOB PROGRAM
A dozen Key West High School students who participated in this year’s A Positive Step of Monroe County’s “Idle Hands Youth Employment Program” wrapped up summer jobs with the City of Key West this week.
Open to all KWHS students who seek summer work, the program was founded in 2010 by APSMC executive director Billy Davis and was led this year by instructor/job coach Lynne Casamayor. Casamayor first presented two weeks of orientation/job readiness training for which the students received a stipend, covering interviewing strategies, tax preparation, college planning – including a tour of the College of the Florida Keys – and substance abuse awareness, after which students began work on July 6, filling a variety of paid positions with the city.
Each year, with the exception of 2020 when the program was put on hold due to Covid-19 pandemic constraints, the city has provided both the jobs and $35,000 to cover the student’s salaries. APSMC raises the balance of the $70,000 annual budget through fundraisers and private donations.
“This year’s program is a fantastic example of our community coming together for the good of our future,” Davis said. “For some time, because of Covid-19 and the resulting financial challenges, we weren’t sure if we could have a 2021 program. Fortunately our city leadership is very aware of how important this program is as a launching pad for the kids to a better life and unanimously approved their traditional $35,000 funding. The Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club and some very generous private donors contributed to the balance of the budget.
“We are also grateful to the staff at Key West High School, who helped recruit students, made a classroom available for our two week job readiness orientation program, and provided lunch for the students in the school cafeteria,” Davis said.
More information about A Positive Step of Monroe County, a non-profit organization that serves some of Monroe County’s highest risk kids and their families, is at APSMC.org or from Davis at 305-304-1969.
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