Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a summer job program designed to keep kids off city streets.
Jessica Kartalija reports Maryland’s top brass joined in on a project Tuesday to make a city school more beautiful.
Well into the summer, Baltimore City teens are hard at work.
“Trying to have something that will last a long time out here,” said Aaron Balbossa, YouthWorks participant.
“We want to make our school look more presentable and make it attractive for everyone to come and see us,” said Jhaimal Johnson, participant.
Tuesday, Governor Martin O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined dozens of kids to plant trees at the Academy for College and Career Exploration.
“We planned this ourselves. We got the plants, we planted them. We did it by hand,” Johnson said.
“It’s very educational for me right now and to be doing all this stuff around my school is making a good presentation for it,” said Tristan Smith.
This is just one of more than 400 YouthWorks sites across the city.
“It teaches you about plants, it helps the environment and just helps you build good character,” said Brandi Jackson.
The program, operated by the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, places teens in summer jobs throughout the city.
“These kids are going to be able to drive past here and see the trees that they planted and see the gardens and see the work they’ve done to beautify their community,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
More than $1 million funds some 900 jobs throughout the city for Baltimore youth.
“It shows all of us that there are hard-working young people throughout the state who would love to have the opportunity to work this summer,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley.
The Baltimore City Council also provided almost $2 million for summer jobs in the YouthWorks program.