On a stifling hot morning, a group of ten 14- and 15-year-olds huddled around a cluster of desks at Harlem Park Middle School in West Baltimore. They weren’t here for summer school—these young people were selected to participate in YouthWorks, a widely popular opportunity among local teens looking for jobs from June to August. This year, a record 9,400 youth applied to participate.
Placed at Baltimore City schools, the youngest YouthWorks participants earned an hourly wage as they maintained a clean campus and helped school administrators with special projects. This year, instead of getting straight to work each morning, youth spent a few hours learning and practicing life skills with a small group of peers. They trained using Passport to Success® (PTS), the IYF curriculum that has prepared more than 100,000 young people in over 40 countries for productive employment. This new connection to Baltimore youth comes as the result of a partnership with the Mayor’s Office for Employment Development and the Family League.