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Liberty County students gain work experience through Summer Youth Employment Program

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 11:16 PM EDT
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LIBERTY COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Now that school is out, Liberty County has brought back its Summer Youth Employment Program. The program is structured to give area high school students job experience, while developing their soft skills. The teens say it’s one way they can get a head start in the workforce.

“I think this is a great opportunity to better my skills,” said Allison Ramirez, who is interning with SYEP.

It’s five weeks of gaining work experience, all while earning some extra cash.

“Make a little side money, that’s always a benefit,” said Gabriel Alvarado, who is an SYEP intern.

Sixteen Liberty County students are spending part of their summer working in various county departments as part of the Summer Youth Employment Program.

“Who knows, they may find themselves in government one day, or the county administrator, or the tax commissioner. That exposure opens those doors and those ideas for them,” Donald Lovette, Liberty County Commission Chairman.

Some of the teens are already working in departments they have an interest in.

“We’ve also been upgrading certain computers from operating system to operating system, and that’s been pretty fun too,” said Victor Roberson, an SYEP intern.

In just two weeks, these teens have learned valuable job skills.

“Setting my goals, how to professionally act in an office environment,” said Ramirez.

“Learning what EMA means, being a part of the group and what they do in their job,” said Keondra Gadson, an SYEP intern.

For Youth Coordinator Larry Murray, it’s encouraging to see the younger generation eager to get ahead of the game.

“For me, at a young age, I didn’t have this type of experience. Seeing them be able to get these jobs and learning how to work. The thing is, they’re able to tell if, after they get this job experience, they’re able to tell if they want to work this job or not. It’s giving them some experience out there and it’s actually exciting seeing them go through the process,” said Murray.

And for the teens, they say this program is setting them up for future success in whatever they choose as a career.

“It’ll build a habit of getting out there and applying yourself because if you don’t apply yourself, you will ultimately fail in the long run,” said Alvarado.

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