By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Merchants at Reading Terminal Market experienced one of their busiest days just before Thanksgiving. One employer turned the Thanksgiving rush into an opportunity for some youths from the city’s Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.

Tootsie Iovine anticipated a Thanksgiving rush here at Reading Terminal Market so she brought in some temporary help to her brothers’ produce store.

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“Most of them (the kids) are from Strawberry Mansion Learning Center,” she said. “I met Kevin Upshur there. He came to the Terminal and was looking for a program to teach the kids how to eat healthy.”

She teaches the kids about work ethic.

“I want to show these boys the pace that I expect, with a smile,” Iovine said.

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One of Tootsie’s new employees is 21-year-old Marcquis Graham.

“I wasn’t even nervous when I first started,” Graham said. “I was just so ready. But it’s a blessing. It’s just great!”

Graham says he loves interacting with customers and he’s learning a lot about customer service.

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“Some customers are mean,” he said, “but they’re always right, so you know you just laugh and try to make it a joke.”