Students Rally at Councilor Arroyo’s Youth Summer Jobs Hearing
More than 250 youth rallied at City Hall and packed the Boston City Council Chamber for At-Large Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo’s hearing on youth summer jobs.
The hearing, held on April 5, focused on the importance of full funding for summer job opportunities for youth, especially considering the impending cuts from the federal level.
Arroyo, Chair of the Committee on Labor, Youth Affairs, and Human Rights, said, “Investing in our youth is a must. I am proud of the commitment that Mayor Menino has made to youth summer jobs and my colleagues on the Council have shared the commitment to this issue. Together, we will work to restore as many jobs as possible to give youth the opportunity to work, develop, and succeed.”
Even with level-funding from the administration’s budget, the City of Boston is facing a cut from the state and federal level that eliminates 2,400 jobs. Youth participated in the rally and testified at the hearing to explain the importance of a summer job to them and what is lost when a summer job is not available to them.
Paul Gonzalez, a student at ABCD University High School, shared, “My first summer job taught me the value of hard work. I’ve seen my mother and my father working hard. ABCD and the Boston Youth Fund gave me the opportunity to work, get what I need, and also give to my brothers and sisters. I want to make my parents proud.”
Guillermina Romero, whose son is actively engaged in Sociedad Latina, expressed her concern, “If they don’t have a summer job, where will they go? With a job, I know that my children are in a safe environment and they are doing something that helps support the family.”
Representatives from ABCD, another key youth employer for Boston’s youth, were also present to discuss the funding challenges they face going into this summer. The Boston Private Industry Council and the State Street foundation discussed their partnership with the city. Arroyo identified them as key partnerships for the City to fill the gap of summer jobs.
Arroyo closed the hearing saying, “I am proud of each person who spoke specifically about how a job can change their lives, how it makes them feel as a human being, and how it helps them take care of their family. As someone who has benefitted from a summer job as a teen, the least I can do is to make sure the generation that follows me has the opportunity to experience the same benefits.”