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'Let's put them to the test'

Parents urge more support for teen jobs

December 27, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Most people see that keeping young people occupied is good for them and the community. But how do you do that when the funding is fickle?

That's the question sisters Evelyn and Yvette Santiago raise regarding their boys' participation in the recent Community Connections jobs program this summer and fall. The program is seeking funding to resume sometime next year, but this year's money ran out Dec. 23. The Santiagos wonder what the community can do to bridge the gap for all of its participants — and other young Southbridgians.

"There are so many ways these kids can continue to do good," Evelyn said. "… Let's put them to the test."

In her case, her son, Erik Gaston, 15, started working at West Street School with the janitorial staff about two weeks before school started, and she said she was surprised he liked it. But it almost didn't happen.

See Tuesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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