By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hundreds of young people gathered today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in center city, to show what they had learned during their summer work experiences.
“We celebrate all the work that our young people achieved during their six-week summer work experience,” said Chekemma Fulmore-Townsend, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network, at the 2014 “Work Ready Expo.”
Kids ranging in age from 12 to 21 are eligible to participate in Work Ready Philadelphia.
Eighteen-year-old Bethany Burgess (top photo) was among 400 student workers showcasing what she learned this summer.
What was the main thing she learned about work?
“Work is hard!” she replied. “That work is very difficult, but work is very fun.”
“It has helped me to be more of a team player,” she added.
The youngsters participated in various fields of work. Burgess, for example, worked in urban farming.
“Farming is my own type of yoga,” she said. “I sit there and I weed, and I turn beds and I use tools, but it’s my time to think.”
Fulmore-Townsend says the kids were given all kinds of work responsibilities:
“Some young people are in projects that are dedicated to service in the community, some young people are exploring an essential question, they’re looking to better their neighborhood. Some young people are in experiences that are at multiple work sites, where they’re meeting with adults. So the experiences vary.”
And she says in addition to valuable work experience, participants get something else, too.
“Every time they show up to work, we pay them,” she pointed out.