Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: JIFF - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: JIFF

By Joe Birch - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An agency in Memphis is Taking Back Our Neighborhoods by helping young people earn their G.E.D. or learn a trade.

"We believe wholeheartedly that we're looking at transformation," said JIFF Executive Director Rick Carr. "We're not just looking at quick fix answers to get people off the street and give them something to do. We're looking at helping them turn their whole life around."

JIFF, or Juvenile Intervention and Faith Based Follow Up, is the agency looking for 100 young people this month ages 16 to 21. They must be out of school and living in poverty in Shelby or Fayette County.

"We want them to learn here how to go and earn a living and be a success," said Roger Chambers of the Workforce Investment Network.

This is all happening at JIFF's new building at Linden and Lauderdale near downtown. It's where 17-year-old Countess Pitchford arrived after dropping out of Manassas High three years ago and having a baby.

"I don't know how to cook, so I went into culinary school to try to learn how to whip up, cook a little something something for my baby," Pitchford said.

She dreams of opening her own restaurant one day.

"We're looking for some motivated young people: young people - young adults - who are ready to better their life, ready to get off the street and do something with their life," Carr said.

Here are the numbers to call if you want one of the last fifty slots in the JIFF program:

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