BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Just one week before the first cycle of YouthWorks employees clock out for the summer, Mayor Catherine Pugh is checking in. She’s sitting down with a few of the Baltimore convention center’s youngest employees.

They are part of the more than eight thousand high school aged city kids placed in summer jobs through her office’s longstanding program

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“So you’re really getting a whole holistic look at the convention center, and behind the scenes. The front of the house and the back of the house.” Pugh said.

The back of the house is where Korren Samuel found her groove.

“I would love to work here,” Samuel, a Western High School student, said. “Because even though I haven’t known them for very long, we became almost like really good family. We laugh, we joke.”

With the gentle guidance of Miss G, she and Jehovah Griffin are spending their summer in the kitchen.

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“I mean, yeah, it’s different than the summer jobs my friends have.” Griffin said. “You know, everybody else is working with like kids or they’re working like inside of an executive building, working with papers.”

And on the technical side of the center, future cyber security major Anaya Zurita is on her second YouthWorks stint working in Projections.

“At first I was like, ‘I don’t think I’m going to be able to remember any of this,’ And now I can do it pretty quick.” Zurita said.

Skills and opportunity are finding their way to Baltimore’s next generation, all summer long.

“When you can keep young people working an engaged in positive activity, it only results in positiveness for the city.” Pugh said.

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For many of these students, the job ends next week with the first round of the YouthWorks program. Some of them are being kept on by their employees to work through the rest of the summer.