YouthWorks unveils 50th anniversary mural and announces program expansion

Mayor at YouthWorks mural unveiling

Baltimore, MD – Today, the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development unveiled the YouthWorks 50th anniversary mural. 

Mayor Brandon M. Scott, YouthWorks Senior Program Manager, S. Rasheem, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Assistant Director, Chief of Youth Services, Donnice E. Brown and Sara Cooper, Senior Associate for Economic Opportunity of the Annie E. Casey Foundation shared remarks and congratulated youth.

“YouthWorks is a critical initiative to deliver economic justice to our city and create opportunities for young people to thrive in the workforce. Our program provides young Baltimoreans with valuable connections, a meaningful community and the skills to succeed. We look forward to the next 50 years of serving Baltimore’s youth!” said MacKenzie Garvin, Acting Director of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Employment Development.

The beautiful mural was painted by YouthWorkers and is located on 24th street in the Old Goucher neighborhood. Members of the muralist group were selected to paint self-portraits along with inspiring words. The brownstones characteristic to Old Goucher are on display. The youth are depicted in the mural while thinking, reading and reaching toward brighter futures. 

For the past five decades, the YouthWorks program has placed teens and young adults, ages 14 to 21, in summer employment opportunities with private, nonprofit, city, state and government employers. Participants work in a variety of industries and gain career-specific skills over a five week summer session.

“As a YouthWorks alumnus, I know firsthand the indelible impact this program has had on my life, and the continued impact it has on our youth in this City for 50 years and counting,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Historic numbers of young people in Baltimore are eager to participate in the program, because we know it is one of our best-tested avenues for opportunity in our city. YouthWorks is living up to its legacy of excellence and will continue to make life-changing impacts on Baltimore’s young people and their communities by providing thousands of jobs and opening the door for them to boldly explore all of the possibilities of life.”

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has a longstanding partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development. The Baltimore based philanthropy funded the mural.

“YouthWorks aligns with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s deep commitment to young people’s access to economic opportunity and mobility in the City and for close to 15 years, we have been a proud longtime supporter,” said Sara Cooper, Senior Associate for Economic Opportunity of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In 2023, 7,890 youth were offered summer employment at a rate of $13.25 per hour. Last year, 5,819 youth participated. 591 summer employers have hired youth this year. This is 120 more summer employers than any summer in the last five years. Youth gain exposure to a breadth of industries. Employers include the Orioles, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Soccer Without Borders, Baltimore Brothers, RISE Arts, HeartSmiles Pennsylvania Avenue Neighborhood Association and hundreds more.

“To the youth we serve, I say this: You are the driving force behind Youthworks. Your dreams, aspirations, and talents fuel our determination to create a brighter future for all. Never forget that your potential knows no bounds. We believe in you, and we stand beside you every step of the way,” remarked S. Rasheem, YouthWorks Senior Program Manager.

In Autumn 2023, YouthWorks is launching year-round programming. Youth will have an opportunity to earn income while completing their studies. 200 High School juniors and seniors will participate in the pilot season of “YouthWorks Year-round Internship.”

“We are extremely proud to announce the YouthWorks Year-round Internship program,” said Donnice E. Brown, Mayor’s Office of Employment Development Assistant Director, Chief of Youth Services, “This is an opportunity to serve more youth and allow our young people to earn additional income. This pilot program is open to those who have participated in YouthWorks programming this year. Thank you to our partners, funders and local businesses that have empowered us to expand. We are not just summer jobs!”

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