The Youth Employment Service (Y.E.S.) Program at The Other Way Ministries is a 12-week summer program that gives local teens the opportunity to gain work experience and more through Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care. This week I caught up with Program Supervisor, Lindsey, and a few of the Y.E.S. employees to see how this summer is going…
Lindsey, Y.E.S. Program Supervisor
Lindsey is a senior at Hope College and this is her first summer working with the Y.E.S. program at “The Other Way.” She describes Y.E.S. as a multifaceted program: “Job skills and learning how to relate to bosses, co-workers and customers is a huge part of the program, but there is much more to it. The kids actually work 3 out of 5 days. One day we devote to character development,other days we go on college visits or have professionals from the community come in to speak. We bring in speakers to talk about things like making yourself employable or interview skills.”
Y.E.S.Community Lawn Care provides lawn care services to residents of Grand Rapids west side neighborhoods. Employees walk to customer homes with mowers and supplies from “The Other Way” Ministries, located on West Fulton.
Working on the Y.E.S. team gives teens a chance meet lots of people and lend a hand to those in their community. Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care offers their services at a discounted rate to customers over age 55 in hopes of helping to bridge the generational gap. “We want to show young people how they can help older folks in the community while helping older customers see them as good kids and hard, honest workers.”
Fred, Y.E.S. Assistant Supervisor
Meet a Y.E.S. Summer Employee…
Summer Job: Y.E.S. Lawn Care
Potential Career: Business
Favorite Subject in School: English
This summer marks Fred’s 5th year working for Y.E.S. This was his first job when he started as a freshman in high school and now has worked his way up to an Assistant Supervisor position.
Why have you kept coming back to work with the Y.E.S. program? It has kept me out of trouble and I get to do something I really like. I also come to youth group and other programs at “The Other Way.”
What is your favorite part about the job? Being around people in the community.When you are walking around in the Y.E.S. uniform, people notice and will say hello or bring you lemonade. It makes you feel really special.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned? Self-respect. We’ve learned a lot about self-respect and how you need to give others that same respect, which is important when working with our customers.
What you can you take from this job that will help you in future positions? I think I want to go into business because I can go out and talk to people about what I am doing and how it helps the community. [And he will be able to tell his future employers how he worked his way up to a leadership position]
What is your goal for this summer? To work my best and show the youth I am working with that it will help them in the future because your first job is very important no matter how small it is.
I will be back soon with more updates from the Y.E.S. Community Lawn Care team. Keep an eye out for their green shirts walking around the west side – they’re doing great work!