Summer youth employees gaining an education
By Scottie Brown
The Selma Times-Journal
As the first session of the summer youth program draws to a close, participants are finding that it has been a great experience overall.
Donnell Bowie, a 17-year-old participant working at the Old Depot Museum, said in the short amount of time he has had with the summer program, he has been able to take advantage of the opportunities given to him.
“It’s an opportunity to learn,” Bowie said. “It gives me the chance to see how it will be to work in a real job. This is just experience.”
The experience gained for some of this year’s participants, like Bowie, can go beyond learning what it is like to have a real job.
During his time at the Old Depot Museum, Bowie has been able to see what it is like to be a part of a building renovation.
“I’ve gotten to do a lot of stuff I never thought I would be doing, like tearing down walls,” Bowie said. “It turned out it was kind of fun.”
Beth Spivey, Old Depot Museum director, said having the summer youth program participants around for just four weeks has helped her tremendously.
“I get a lot of things done, and they get to do things they’ve never done,” Spivey said. “It’s nice that I get to sit here and wait for people to come in or answer the phone. They’re cleaning and doing stuff that I can’t do all by myself.”
Bowie’s counterpart at the museum, Jacquez Fields said he too thought the summer program was an educational tool for the future.
“You learn how to work” Fields said. “You learn how to make your own money. You don’t have to rely on anybody else. You’ve got money in your own pocket because of what you’re doing. I didn’t expect it to be easy, though, because it’s not easy”
Fields said that while the job might not be easy, he’s enjoyed the experience.
“Anything you have to work for and you have to earn, it isn’t easy,” Fields said. “I’ve really enjoyed the experience, though.”