|Published:||Jun 21, 2012 9:41 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 21, 2012 10:50 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- City Council members are putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to preventing violence. A city program has been reinstated to give kids a little pride and a paycheck. Council members have called the violence deplorable but they are offering hope and a summer job to students.
"I enjoy what I do. I take pride in what I do and it's an honor to be working for the city," said Shakia Fulcher.
Fulcher's life is on the right track. She works at the Fort Myers skatium and is a college student. Today, she's inspiring other Fort Myers students that there is hope beyond the violent streets on which they grew up.
"I told them to put a 110 percent in what you do because doors opened for me as they can open for them," said Fulcher.
It is orientation day for the Step Up to Work Program. In May, the city council approved funding to reinstate the program. For 30 low income students, it's their first day of work.
"They're going to be working, earning money, learning about a job, " said Christine McDade.
McDade is the city's human resources director and says the seven week program impacts both the city and the student.
"I just hope it's a real positive experience for them to show them that they can believe in themselves, they can have a positive attitude. There are rewards for that," said McDade.
"The enthusiasm I've seen among the young people in this room is just phenomenal," said City Councilman Thomas Leonardo.
Leonardo is hopeful these kids will influence their peers to stop the violence.
"It's deplorable and it's something that we've been addressing for quite a while now," he said.
The students are encouraged to focus on a dream, not allow their lives to be shattered by a bullet.
"There are things the city of Fort Myers can do and will do to make their lives better and give them more opportunities," said Leonardo.
The program costs about $1,200 for each student. The money was allocated from the city budget.