The City of Statesboro is now accepting applications for its Statesboro Youth Connect (SYC) summer program.
The city’s inaugural 5-week pre-professional program aims to inspire local high school students to become engaged, lifelong learners in their community. The program is set to begin on June 7, 2021, and will focus on the core concepts of education, employment, civic responsibility, leadership and diversity.
“I am delighted to see this program finally come to fruition,” said Mayor Jonathan McCollar. “Since taking office in 2017, one of my highest priorities has been engaging the youth of our community in a meaningful way. Typically, young people have to be in college or much older to apply for internships and pre-professional programs. By offering an opportunity for high school students to receive first-hand career development experience early on, they are more prepared for the workforce and have a better idea of what they would like to do after graduation.”
At the request of Mayor Jonathan McCollar and District 1 City Councilmember Phil Boyum, city staff have worked over the past year to develop a program that would allow students to learn more about local government and explore possible career paths in local government. The result of that request is a pre-professional summer program, which will provide a setting similar to an internship for high school students to gain invaluable experiences while also earning a stipend. During Statesboro City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night, the council voted to approve a $25,000 expenditure to provide weekly stipends to the SYC participants, which will amount to $7.25 per hour.
“Staff turnover is an ongoing challenge for many organizations,” said Councilmember Boyum. “The City of Statesboro often loses its experienced employees to surrounding communities simply because these folks want to be close to family and loved ones. By providing our local high schoolers an opportunity to see the inner workings of city operations, we can show them career possibilities they may not have otherwise considered while also establishing a pipeline of local talent that can develop into long-term employees and, ultimately, provide additional stability for the community. Plus, they get the chance to make a little summer money. It’s a win-win all around.”
To be eligible for the program, a student must be enrolled in high school (grades 9 through 12 during August 2021) and living in the city limits of Statesboro. Each week, students will be expected to report Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will earn a weekly stipend. Students will have a one-hour lunch break each day. Lunch will not be provided. Access to transportation is not required.