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Youth Engagement.

While our schools are improving, we need more avenues to engage the youth of this city. Far too many young people in the District simply give up, or give into a life of crime because, right or wrong, they feel that there are no opportunities for them. Most young people in D.C. have told me, they aren’t looking for a handout; they are looking for a hand up. Here is what I support to help change this:
• Create more opportunities for on-the-job training, internships, apprenticeships and fellowships. Any large corporation or developer that is receiving tax benefits or requesting any sort of relief from the District of Columbia, should be required to create a paid, career-path-internship program for under-served District youth enrolled in a secondary school;
• Offer more technical training opportunities through D.C. Public Schools and the University of the District of Columbia. Not every high school student is college-bound and for those that are not, the District needs to provide more training opportunities for both career and life skills;
• Use our schools to provide more opportunities for those beyond high school years;
• Create a meaningful mentoring program that partners students from the city’s major universities (American, Catholic, Gallaudet, Georgetown, George Washington, Howard, and Trinity) with students enrolled in D.C. public schools;
• Revamp the current Department of Employment Services (DOES) summer jobs program for District youth. The program is not working and needs to be connected directly with District businesses to create career-path summer jobs.
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