Early end to school year means early start for summer jobs

Pat Loeb
April 30, 2019 - 9:42 am
Cyneil Hinton

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Summer jobs will start two weeks early for 2,000 of the young Philadelphians in the city's youth employment programs. 

Graduation may start as early as May 31, this year, but the summer jobs program normally doesn't start until July. That leaves a full month of idle time for participants, which prompted officials to find some extra funding for the program.

"We know what idle time can possibly do," said Deputy Managing Director Vanessa Garrett-Harley, who is in charge of violence prevention. The summer jobs program is a major component.

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"Infuse some more money in the community," she said. "Give young people something constructive to do with their time — and this is particularly important when we know that we have thousands of young people in this city who are disconnected from employment or education. And this is a huge step to help make that better."

On hand to attest to that, Cyneil Hinton told his own story: Unemployed and desperate, he landed in jail, but he vowed to turn his life around when he got out. The workforce program Power Corps wasn't the kind of work he wanted, he says.

"But I was so eager to get out of the streets, all I wanted was the opportunity," Hinton said.

Six months later he was promoted to assistant superviser.

"So now they're coming to me, they're calling me 'Mr. Cyneil' or 'Mr. Hinton,' so it's like, I could get used to this," he said.

And it gets better.

"A year ago, I was locked up, stressing about my daughter. And now, I'm in the mayor's reception room."