Hundreds of Mid-South teens turned out Friday morning at Neighborhood Christian Centers, hoping for one of the limited spots in an emergency youth summer job initiative.
The early morning line stretched around a corner and down the street from the center, as teens stood in line in the summer heat, hoping for a job. A total of 312 city funded jobs were available to work through mid-August.
"I see them wanting to get off the streets, do something productive with their lives at an early age," said Gene Ventress of the Urban Youth Initiative. "I think this is something we should be about in the City of Memphis."
Among the teens were some parents watching as their children got ready to enter the working world.
"I'm hoping he'll get," said parent Deloris Wilson. "It's time for him to grow up and be a man. He's 17, last year of school. It's time for him to grow up and hit the rough road."
"Organizers hoped the teens would be able to obtain temporary jobs that would turn into something more permanent.
"If the youngster that works with them this summer can work after school, then they can work through the year and then stay with them next summer," said applicant Takyia Tidwell.
Learning a trade and keeping kids busy are the goals of the program,and teens say it may just work. City leaders hope the program will keep kids out of trouble.