The final summer of CAIN’s teen programming builds character and community.
This summer eleven Northside teens participated in Churches Active in Northside’s Earn And Learn Employment Readiness Program. Aimed at 13, 14 and 15-year olds, the focus of Earn and Learn is neighborhood beautification, community service, and job etiquette. Students earn a stipend upon completion of the program.
Since 2001, and dependent on available funding and partnerships, CAIN has coordinated various teen summer employment offerings for 10 to 20 teens each summer. The summer opportunities are designed to help teens at a critical point in their personal development to gain skills needed to better prepare them for future success. The hope is that participants see they are able to make an impact in their community, which will inspire them to continue making positive, life-giving decisions in their future.
This year’s stellar participants include: James Austin Carr, Alijah Clark, LaMarzi Glover, Curtis L. Hopey Jr., MiVonn Jackson, Timothy Jones, Davon Jorden, Destiny King, Malia King, Jaden Miller, and Andrew Welch. Five-year veteran supervisor and program coordinator, Kathy Y. Wilson motivates and inspires teens to do their best.
The students were very appreciative of the program and the opportunities which included representing CAIN in the 4th of July parade, helping clean-up Hoffner Park after the 4th of July Rock-n-Roll Carnival, several clean-sweeps of Hamilton Avenue, a field trip to the Cincinnati Opera and a session with Stacy ‘Sun’ Smith, founder and owner of Soap Box tees.
Curtis Hopey, Jr., a 16-year old who wants to go to college for mechanical engineering, is a 2-year veteran of the program. He said that he values the program because it helps keep kids off the streets during the summer by offering them an appealing alternative. Curtis served as Teen Assistant and said “I’m not just in it for the money, but also the other kids.” Jaden Miller enjoyed the hard work the program required of her and was grateful for the opportunity to obtain more work experience for the future.
This is the final summer for CAIN’s Earn and Learn Program that has been a key part to many young teenagers’ lives. The program has offered hope to teens who need it most and has inspired a future generation.
For more info:
Churches Active in Northside (CAIN)
4230 Hamilton Avenue
Stacey ‘Sun’ Smith, founder and owner of Soapbox tees, designed and printed CAIN’s Earn and Learn t-shirts this year. Sun was born and raised in Northside and donates her time to serving both in and outside the community. Earlier this year she held a T-shirt fundraiser, from which proceeds went to a school in Haiti.
Founded in 2007 in Cincinnati, OH by Sun, Soapbox Tees is a creative, urban, and socially conscious lifestyle clothing company. Sun’s vision is to design clothing that represents a variety of influences, a reflection of her environment and passions. As an activist, writer, and devout volunteer, Sun’s experiences working with low-wage workers establish workers rights, connecting displaced people in the community with sustainable resources, fuels her drive for promoting social responsibility. Soapbox Tees remains committed to the principles that took it from scribbles on a pad to textile art. Their success is a result of their commitment to raising social awareness and fundraising for national and global causes. For the consumer, Soapbox Tees delivers a universal message that breaks stereotypes and ethnic boundaries.
View Sun Smith’s tees on her website: http://www.mysoapboxtees.com
By Stefan Pleli, writing for CAIN
Stefan Pleli, a junior marketing major at Xavier University, is working this summer at Churches Active in the Northside through the Scripps Howard Foundation Nonprofit Internship Program.