He starts each morning with a bus ticket and a business goal.
Mahleek Dailey, 18, is the rider. He calls men “sir” and has a quiet, studious persona. At home, they call him “tech guy.”
During the week, he picks up the No. 74 Metro bus near North Kingshighway Boulevard, rides along West Florissant Avenue and walks several blocks to his job at Computer Village, in the basement of the Prince Hall Family Support Center on Newstead Avenue south of Interstate 70.
He got the job at the computer-help organization through STL Youth Jobs — a collaboration led by the St. Louis mayor’s office, the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation, MERS Goodwill, the Incarnate Word Foundation and a host of other public and private stakeholders. The job-finding group partners with employers around the St. Louis area to provide work opportunities to city youth during the summer.
The program aims to provide more than just income.
“It’s a unique situation,” Goodwill program coordinator Patrick McCulloch said. “Usually kids are just going to work at a restaurant, a small business, something like that. They’re just working.”
Participants with STL Youth Jobs are required to complete job readiness training before starting. In addition, participants are required to open up a bank account if they don’t have one. The bank then provides financial education to the youth.
Out of approximately 1,000 applications this year, 400 people were selected. Most are picked from high-crime neighborhoods. All youth can work up to 160 hours starting around June.
1st Financial Federal Credit Union presents a $10,000 donation to STL Youth Jobs to hire a Financial Empowerment Specialist for the 2015 program.
On Friday, May 23rd, representatives from 1st Financial Federal Credit Union continued their partnership with STL Youth Jobs by participating in a Job Fair and presenting a $10,000 grant to help the program hire a Financial Empowerment Specialist. The Financial Empowerment Specialist will work with STL Youth Jobs participants during the summer to develop savings habits and help the youth work towards achieving their financial dreams.
“On behalf of everyone at 1st Financial Credit Union, we are proud to be a part of STL Youth Jobs, and we are happy to lend our expertise to the program’s success, said Carol Minges, Chief Executive Officer at 1st Financial Federal Credit Union. “1st Financial actively promotes financial empowerment. We want to see the youth we serve build healthy financial habits that will help them for the rest of their lives.”
She continued, saying “Helping our St. Louis young adults save their hard-earned money and to fully fund their goals are at the very core of our existence as a credit union. STL Youth Jobs is an outstanding program that will help us reach out to and engage the next generation.”