ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Summer vacation is right around the corner for students in the Rochester City School District, but with a lot of free time on their hands, organizations through the city and private sector are stepping up to make sure they can keep themselves occupied during breakthrough work and camps.
There are those both in law enforcement and community activism who fear as the Summer goes on, gun violence and other serious crime could increase.
While teenagers and young adults are out of school, Mayor Malik Evans’s Office and non-profits are working to make sure they don’t get caught up in that trouble and remain on paths to a bright future.
So far in 2022, at least 18 minors in the city have been caught up in shootings, in some cases losing their lives to gun violence.
People like Mike Johnson with Save Rochester are determined to not allow any more students to join that list this summer.
“We have a workshop on financial literacy for young boys who are at risk,” Johnson said. “And also adult men who are at risk. So, we’re going to be promoting that. We have an opportunity to start their own business.”
The non-profit Action for a Better Community doesn’t want to think about the illegal activity teenagers could be getting into. Instead, hire up to 40 RCSD students for part-time work to develop skills not always taught to them in public.
“They will be working in visual arts,” Underwood said. “And they’ll be writing a play as well as video production.”
Both organizations stressed the key tactic to guiding these students to stay focused on making a positive impact in their communities is being engaged with them to stay motivated and find the resources to teach them skills they’re not always offered.
“We need as many interventions as possible to prevent or to discourage kids from making the wrong choice,” Johnson said. “We feel if we are using data-driven instruction as a means of intervention for the youth, that’s the best way to go.”
“Certainly there are people who would want them to do things you and I would not approve of,” Underwood added. “We have to outwork those people. So we’re calling on as many adults as possible to mentor young people. If you don’t know how to mentor there are lots of ways we can teach that.”
The part-time summer jobs through the City of Rochester revolve around positions in the Parks and Rec. Department which still has positions available.
Each of these part-time jobs for teens and non-profit camps will operate on a Monday-Friday schedule. Also involves the City of Rochester Libraries.