Local Initiatives Support Grant put teens to work

By Denise Jackson

July 12, 2013 Updated Jul 12, 2013 at 10:27 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- Some local students are getting a chance to work this summer while at the same time give back to the community.

Robert Brown usually does volunteer work during summer break. This year the 17- ear old is earning income for the first time working with the East Bluff Lawn Mowing Program.

"I love it cause it's kind of hard finding jobs. It's a good start to get work experience," Brown said.

Brown is among 15 students hired in the Spring. They're working four hours a day for two days a week. For Charles Davis his first job will help pay for senior expenses this coming school year.

"It's a great way to make money. I know everybody has cut grass before, cut their own yards. If you're doing it out here and you are making money it's an even better way to do it," he said.

The students income is being paid with a $20,000. grant from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation also called LISC.

"We wanted to have a program to give kids on the East Bluff something to do and be able to pay them and then also to help clean up the East Bluff," said Peoria Opportunities Foundation Director Jane Genzel.

"It keeps you occupied and out of trouble and everything. It gives you experience and with the people you work with you get to meet new people everyday," said program participant Jordan Hendricks.

East Bluff resident Jack McNaught says his wife who recently passed away wanted him to retire from doing the yard work.

"My wife was bugging me for a long time 'Why don't you quit mowing the grass?' and these kids left their card on my door. I been using them, that's what I'm gonna do from now on. They do a great job," he said.

It's a job these youngsters say brings not only monetary rewards but professional benefits as well.

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