Boys and Girls Club summer program prepares teens for work

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A recent outbreak of violence in Milwaukee has been a wake-up call for some of the city's youth who say it's a reminder of just how important an education and successful career can be in keeping them out of trouble.

“All the other stuff going on in Milwaukee is really bad, but these kids really want to do something with themselves. They’re not just wasting their lives,” said 17-year-old DiMarco Rivera.

Rivera is part of the Boys and Girls Club and feels young adults, like himself, are benefiting from the organization's summer program that focuses on setting up teens for a successful future in business.

“Life is a great thing. You can’t just sit back and enjoy everything. You’re going to have work hard sometime,” said Rivera.

More than 100 Milwaukee teens have spent the summer working and interning at club locations, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. On Thursday, August 8th, the Boys and Girls Club held an event that served as a wrap-up for the summer. Several workshops, focusing on different aspects of the work force, were offered. A fashion show was put on to help the young adults understand how to dress appropriately at work.

“Most kids going out into the work place, they have no idea what to wear, they just come in regular day clothes and this really helps them to look good,” said Rivera.

“We're young teenagers so everybody thinks we`re rowdy and loud, and sometimes the way we dress, like if we want to be creative, that says a lot, but sometimes in work places we have to be a little more professional and a little less loud,” said 18-year-old Ever Clinton.

Vincent Lyles, CEO and President of the Boys and Girls Club said this event serves as, not only an end to the summer, but a beginning for the young men and women’s future.

“We want to give these kids some of the right tools early on so they can go on from this job to the next job,” said Lyles.

The teens had an opportunity to meet with a local image consulting company for tips on how to dress for interviews, jobs, and other special functions. Before leaving the event, participants were able to pick out a professional outfit from a donated selection to take home with them.