Summer program rewards youth with jobs, life skills - Tucson News Now

Summer program rewards youth with jobs, life skills

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Angeline Carbajal / Tucson News Now intern

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Urban League has helped 135 students between 14 and 21 find jobs and learn life skills this summer through their youth education and employment program, according to a TUL news release.

The program targets youth ages 14 to 24 and provides youth opportunities to gain work experience and basic education during the summer months. Students can receive school credit for participating.

TUL serves all Tucson residents, but receives many participants from Ward 5, their primary service area. About 70 percent of participants are Latino and 6 percent are African American. Tucson's highest neighborhood stress area is Ward 5 based on the City of Tucson Poverty and Urban Stress in 2012.

Since the recession began, unemployment rates for minorities have increased according to the July 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twenty-eight percent of young African-Americans and 18 percent of young Hispanics face unemployment. The rates are approximately 16 percent higher than the national average for white youth, according to the press release.

The TUL has helped thousands of young men and women find summer jobs.

"The Tucson Urban League Youth Employment Program helped me gain the confidence and learn the skills and income I needed to be successful in life and at the university," Program Counselor Byron Christopher said in the release. "As a former client, I am fortunate to now have the opportunity to help others in our community. This program and the support I received at the Tucson Urban League made a big difference in my life."

Summer youth employment has been proved to decrease poverty rates, reduce student drop-out rates and classroom performance and increase the likely hood of students to open savings accounts and manage their finances, according to the release.

Those interested in more information on the TUL Youth and Education program can visit www.tucsonurbanleague.org or call (520) 791-9522.

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