SAY is Putting Youth to Work This Summer
For the third year running, SAY has hired over 100 youth to work on ecological restoration projects as part of the 2011 Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC). For many of the youth who were hired this year, this is their first job, and their first opportunity to gain the independence that having your own paycheck can provide.
Mike Rodriguez, 19, joined the SCYEC three years ago having never had a job before. “I love that they give young folks like me an opportunity. A lot of these kids don’t know what they have, programs like this weren’t around before so this is a great opportunity.”
When asked what he would do with his paycheck this year, he said that in the past he wasn’t as smart with his money. In working in the SCYEC, he’s learned valuable lessons about the importance of teamwork, spending your money wisely and the rewards of working hard. “It build character. It shows you how to work with other people. It’s better than being a couch potato. It’s hard work but I love it.”
The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps (SCYEC) is a jobs, workforce training and ecosystem education program aimed at employing youth and young adults while teaching them about environmental stewardship. The SCYEC provides youth and young adults paychecks, valuable work experience, environmental education, and the opportunity to contribute to their community through ongoing outdoor experiences.
The coalition of groups who support the SCYEC include the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the Sonoma County Human Services Department, the Sonoma County Water Agency, the Sonoma County Office of Education, the nonprofit New Ways to Work, over 60 project hosts, and five youth agencies including Social Advocates for Youth.
Check out some photos from the crews working at Santa Rosa’s Prince Memorial Greenway below: