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Columbus Announces Summer Camps And Job Programs For Teens

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther
Jay LaPrete
Associated Press
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther announced expanded efforts to keep teenagers occupied and employed this summer.

The city is partnering with the YMCA to launch a so-called "earth service corps." Around 400 16 to 24-year-olds will clean up litter. As part of the job, they'll receive career counseling and free lunches.

Mayor Andrew Ginther said it is one of several efforts to reduce teen violence in Columbus.

“Every child in this city deserves to be safe, to have enriching and constructive programming for them to participate in,” Ginther said. “But it's gonna take all of our help, everyone stepping up to make sure our young people are safe.”

The city plans to serve more than 1,600 kids through summer camps. That's comparable to pre-pandemic numbers, and the city will host more than 50 camp locations in order to reduce sizes.

City officials will also expand already-existing efforts, like late-night basketball.

"Starting next month, 10 community centers will be open for late night basketball, from 6 to 11 p.m., a safe place for our young people to be this summer,” Ginther said.

Columbus will also waive admission fees for public pools.

Efforts don’t stop at the city level. High school students will be able to earn more than $1,000 this summer through Franklin County’s Ready 2 Earn program. The county department of job and family services will work with local nonprofits to provide job training for 14 to 18-year-olds this summer. Teens can apply here.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.