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Summertime and Youth

Summer is a time for young people to explore and prepare for the next chapter in their educational lives on the road toward adulthood. There is lots of talk of there being few summer jobs and even fewer summer programs for youth. With that in mind, it falls on parents to plan for all of the above, at home. Why can't there be Summer School at home in the form of reading projects and math projects like teaching the kids the family budget? Give them jobs at home or go out and find them a job or internship, even if they have to volunteer with you giving them a stipend.

There is always the lawn to cut which can end up being a year round job with the possibility of expanding into doing the neighbors' lawn. There is probably a room in the house that could use some painting or the garage needing clean up or organization. Any work experience can help young people prepare for the real world of work. I was taught that "if you don't work, you will steal." Too many young people, especially the boys, don't understand the relationship between work and money. Too many children grow up learning "ask and it shall be given." Then the real world hits them in the face as an adult, and lo and behold, the rules change to "no work, no pay." Then you're back to "if you don't work, you don't eat." Another lesson about working is the side benefit of: the more education you have, the easier the work gets. For example, a teacher doesn't work as hard as a teacher's aid. So the lesson is, get your education and become a teacher or professor, or an electrician, architect, lawyer, or engineer, and your life will be easier when you get older.
I've said it before that experience can be gained by exposing young people to the professions by taking the kids to, let's say, a lawyer's office and asking the lawyer if they can do something, or to the doctor's office, Real Estate office, or wherever. One thing for sure is that sitting around the house, listening to profane rap and watching vulgar videos will not teach them anything constructive. Remember, what they see is what they will be. If they see nothing, you can guess the rest.

Then there are other options to waiting to see what "THEY" (the government) will come up with for your children to do. Don't wait. Remember this is the same government that is closing your child's schools and letting some children go to school for twelve years and failing to teach them to read. This is the same THEY, i.e., government, that builds more prisons than colleges. So you can wait on THEM, or you can take matters into your own hands. You can gather the youth from the neighborhood and have a Summer School at your house something like home school.
Another option is to go to the local Boys and Girls Club like the one on North Fair Oaks and bring a group of volunteers and develop Day Camps, bringing youth from your church to utilize the facilities that are already there in place.

The Boy's Club on North Fair Oaks was built by and for the Black community and its youth, yet today there are few Black youth using it. Don't wait on THEM to do something for your kids, you do it. Remember, Dr. King. Do something for self, like the Iranians are doing these days in Iran. Slavery ended when people of good will said "ENOUGH". The systematic destruction of our young people's future will stop when we, too, say "ENOUGH" and start doing for ourselves what we used to wait on others to do.

To the clergy and the Ministerial Alliance, assess each church a few hundred dollars a month to hire a youth programs coordinator to coordinate youth jobs and recreational programs. What about organizing a youth choir organization and have a competition for cash? These programs could provide alternatives to the streets for young people. If the adults don't provide something for them to do, the Crips and Bloods have something for them, but you won't like the results.

I say, "ENOUGH of the waiting on someone else to do something for us. Now is the time for a CHANGE!"


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