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FACE internship program offers critical opportunities

Summer jobs for teens

Ashley Montgomery | 5/29/2014, 9 a.m.
Summer’s around the corner and the streets will soon be overloaded with adolescents and teens in Overtown. Urgent, Inc. supported ...
Vice President of Urgent, Inc., Saliha Nelson and Commissioner Keon Hardemon, City of Miami District 5 support the youth in Overtown.

Summer’s around the corner and the streets will soon be overloaded with adolescents and teens in Overtown.

Urgent, Inc. supported by the South East Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency (SEOPW CRA) will give 60 young people between the ages of 16-24 an opportunity that will prepare them for the future.

The organizations hopes to inspire youth by helping them gain valuable work experience in Film, Arts and Culture, Coding and Entrepreneurship (F.A.C.E) employment and training program.  

“The unemployment rate for youth ages 16-19 in Overtown is 28.7 percent, more than three times the City of Miami’s average,” said Saliha Nelson, Vice President of Urgent, Inc.

Thus far, the enrollment process has been overwhelming.

“More than 115 youths have applied for the program,” Nelson said. “Applications are still coming in and we have established a waiting list.”

Earlier preparation could be the reason for more interest.

Compared to last year the number of applicants are said to have increased significantly. Urgent, Inc. is attributing this increase to being able to get the word out through schools and also last year the outreach process did not begin until after the schools had let out for the summer.

A host of companies will be partnering with Urgent, Inc. to help train and employ the participants of F.A.C.E.

Film Trainer, Jalen James Acosta, president and CEO of High Def Dreams, LLC will be helping the cause for a second year around. Acosta has appeared in dozens of advertising campaigns and major commercials for Fortune 500 companies like Burger King and Coca Cola.

The Art and Culture Trainer will be the Black Archives History and Research Foundation of South Florida Inc. The Black Archives documents Black lifestyles in Miami-Dade County from 1896 to the present.

Alexandry Douyon with Urgent, Inc. is a visual artist, muralist and Miami-Dade County Public School Teacher who plans to assist participants in the Arts and Culture too.

Coding Trainer, Rudo Boothe, president/CEO of  Monseqaxtle Inc. is a programmer who specialized in 3D and real-time data application development. He uses the most advanced multimedia.

Entrepreneurship Trainer Juan Casimiro has 25 years of public speaking, entrepreneurship, teaching and mentoring experience under his belt.

“As the Chairman of the Overtown CRA, I am proud to support the efforts of Urgent, Inc. in creating this community service, youth employment and job training initiative in our community,” Commissioner Keon Hardemon said.

ALARMING TRUTHS

Black youth in Miami-Dade County are not getting a fair shot of being hired by employers due to lack of work experience.

This effort is designed to give Black youth with little or no work experience the chance to get paid while gaining relevant experience which will help them compete for work down the line.

“About 80 percent of slots are designated for Overtown residents and the remainder of slots are allocated for City of Miami residents primarily from District 5,” Nelson said.

Nelson compared the Black youth unemployment crisis to that of Third World Countries.

“The failure to gain entry into the job market during this critical developmental period sets the stage for limited earning potential over the lifespan, forecasts workforce entry failure and perpetuates intergenerational poverty. This is devastating on so many levels.  First, research shows that if young people are not engaged in the workforce during these critical teen years, it is more likely they may never enter the workforce. Second, youth are in competition with a growing senior population that must remain in the workforce longer because they too need the money. Who would you rather hire, a seasoned senior or a “questionable,” young person. Then there is the question of the scarce availability of any business, Black-owned or otherwise doing business in low-income communities.”

Funding was made possible by the SEOPW CRA chaired by Commissioner Hardemon and Clarence Woods, executive director.

F.A.C.E is also gearing up for a half-day Camp designed to reach youth ages six-14. This program is supported by Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs.

For more information, visit Urgent, Inc. at urgentinc.org.