Statesboro high schoolers get brand new skillsets in summer program

Local high school students wrapped up their five-week Youth Connect program with the City of Statesboro this week, where they split their time between city departments and local nonprofits to get a feel for government careers.

“[The Youth Connect program] has taught me patience and understanding for adult, working individuals,” said Laylah Scarboro finishing the program. “The opportunity to participate in this program is something every high school student should experience… Not only have I improved my social skills, I’ve also enhanced my work ethic for the future.”

17 students from grades 9-12 started this first-annual summer program on the first month of June, working 9-4, spending 12 hours of their 30-hour workweek with the City and the rest with civic organizations like the Fire Department or Judicial Annex.

These students are:

  • Chelajhia Aikens
  • Dxyah Andreassen
  • Gabriel Bermudez-Moronta
  • Olivia Hendrix
  • Brianna Howard
  • Kylan Ifeji
  • Amari Jones
  • Chloe Jones
  • Teon Mikell
  • Moira Prewitt
  • Aaliyah Rice
  • Yasmin Riden
  • Johnny Roberson III
  • Roni Rosales-Giron
  • Laylah Scarboro
  • Maryann Wilkerson
  • Alijah Wright

Students learned a handful of both work-related skills like team-building and customer service as well as general life skills like time management, body language basics and telephone etiquette.

“I have also learned there is more to work than just getting a paycheck,” said Scarboro. “Now I understand why my mom goes to bed so early.”

The City Council voted in April to approve a $25,000 expenditure starting the summer program that would employ high school students at minimum wage each summer to help get their feet wet in government career paths that would otherwise require a few years experience or a high school diploma to get into.

“This is how we re-invest into our home,” said Mayor Jonathan McCollar. “We’ve got to continue to invest in our young people, because they are our future.”