MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Summer is the last thing on our minds right now, but December 1 kicked off the application process for MPLOY Memphis--a program which helps children find fulfilling employment over the summer months.
"The mayor always says let's give our young people something to do when they are not in school," said Ike Griffith, director of youth services for City of Memphis.
MPLOY Memphis gives 1,250 kids a paid job working with some of the city's biggest companies.
"Jobs such as Moore Tech, St. Jude, First Tennessee. So, we place these young people in businesses that are partnering with us during the summer months," Griffith said.
The six-week program will help match teens like Terri Anderson with jobs that fit their own interests and skills.
"After I graduate from Soulsville, I want to be a business major, and [I] started out with ice cream, [which] gets me into that business range," said Anderson, a former MPLOY participant.
Thousands of students will apply over the next month for the jobs, which include both work and training positions and pay between $8-11 an hour.
These summer jobs will hopefully steer kids away from crime.
"We are providing the opportunity for them to work, make money, so they won't do those types of negatives in the public eye," Griffith said.
But a job well done, maybe one day, will continue right where they left off.
MPLOY Memphis is still looking for businesses to team up with them this summer.
Friday, Dec. 1 kicks off the month-long enrollment to participate. The city hosted a kickoff party for the application process at Main Event from 5-8 p.m.
To qualify for MPLOY you must be between the ages of 14-22 and a Memphis resident.