Maya AOHT featured at Summer Youth Employment Launch

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DC mayor wants to make teen summer jobs expansion permanent

WASHINGTON — The race is on for teens and young adults who want to be part of the D.C. summer jobs program. 

The Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program received more than 6,000 online applications within 20 minutes of the website launching Friday, Mayor Muriel Bowser said.

The program will take applications through Feb. 24, Bowser said, to connect 13,000 young people to meaningful, paid work experiences.

In the program, 14- and 15-year-olds earn $5.25 an hour; 16- through 21 year-olds earn $8.25 an hour; and 22- through 24-year-olds earn $11.50 an hour.

The program cutoff used to be 21 but was expanded to include ages 22-24 starting in 2015. 

Bowser has asked the D.C. Council to make that expansion permanent. 

Applicant Andre Jones said he’s excited by the prospect of getting a summer job through the program. 

“I want to work,” the 15-year-old sophomore said. “I would love to get a job in the hospitality business — it seems fun.”

Jones, whose father died a few years ago, said he is eager to buy his own phone and contribute to the household income of his mom and two siblings.

“It’s very empowering,” said Akoshia Yoba, director of the Career Academy at the Maya Angelou Public Charter School that Jones attends. 

“I think it’s a wonderful way to establish a work ethic, to get students and young people acclimated to the world of work and how they may serve in it,” Yoba said.

Jones will prepare for a summer job at Yoba’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. As for his future beyond high school, Jones said he would like to get into information technology or cyber security.

“If that doesn’t really work out, or even if it does, I would like to get a trade in mechanics and have that as a side job to bring in even more income,” Jones said.

Teens and young adults can apply for the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program on the program’s website.