Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg effort seeks summer jobs, mentors for tough teens

Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, put up his own $10,000 to get the 50-50-50 effort going.

Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, put up his own $10,000 to get the 50-50-50 effort going.

ST. PETERSBURG — Concerned about idle teenage hands this summer, state Rep. Darryl Rouson announced Monday an ambitious summer campaign aimed at providing jobs and mentors for at-risk youths.

And he's putting up $10,000 of his own money to jump-start the effort.

It is a joint venture between Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, and community activist Gypsy Gallardo, co-chairwoman of People Advocating Change Together, or PACT, a loosely organized group of churches and civic groups determined to help African-American youths.

Called the 50-50-50 challenge, Rouson plans to recruit 50 mentors for 50 youths eager to leave the streets and he hopes private employers will provide 50 jobs.

Rouson estimates the job program will cost $50,000, and is counting on private donations to finance it beyond the $10,000 he's putting in. The program would place teenagers in internships and other jobs.

"Our target is some of these young folks who are on the fringe of making a decision about whether they sell dope or don't sell dope," said Rouson.

The program comes on the heels of reports that summer jobs for teens are scarce.

"If these kids aren't employed, they are going to be out looking for something to do and trying to make that money," said Mike Boykins, Pinellas County Urban League's statewide coordinator for youth crime prevention and intervention.

The league will screen and place the job applicants.

Rouson's call for action comes 10 days after Javon Dawson, 17, was fatally shot when police say he aimed a gun at an officer and the officer then opened fire. Dawson's family has said he did not have a gun.

The shooting came up at a recent town hall meeting Rouson organized. That night, he called on successful black men to mentor troubled youths, which led to the 50-50-50 challenge.

Rouson, who has five sons of his own at home, said it is the community's responsibility to make sure more young black men do not fall victim to violence this summer. He said he wants 50 new African-American police recruits by the end of the summer.

"I don't know whether Javon Dawson was all the way in the wrong or all the way in the right," said Rouson. "But if you really think the police are the problem, then the way you change it is by joining the police department."

Cristina Silva can be reached at (727) 893-8846 or [email protected]

>>Fast facts

How to get involved

Employers or job applicants can call the Pinellas County Urban League at (727) 327-2081, ext. 120.

Prospective mentors or kids looking for mentors can call Gypsy Gallardo at (727) 866-0873.

St. Petersburg effort seeks summer jobs, mentors for tough teens 06/17/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 2:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump awards Medal of Honor to Vietnam-era Army medic (w/video)

    Military

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday turned a Medal of Honor ceremony for a Vietnam-era Army medic who risked his life to help wounded comrades into a mini homework tutorial for the boy and girl who came to watch their grandfather be enshrined "into the history of our nation."

    WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 23:  Retired U.S. Army Capt. Gary Rose (L) receives a standing ovation after being awarded the Medal of Honor by U.S. President Donald Trump during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House October 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Rose, 69, is being recognized for risking his life while serving as a medic with the 5th Special Force Group and the Military Assistance Command Studies and Observations Group during ‘Operation Tailwind’ in September 1970. Ignoring his own injuries, Rose helped treat 50 soldiers over four days when his unit joined local fighters to attack North Vietnamese forces in Laos - officially off limits for combat at the time.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) 775062921
  2. Long day of diplomacy: Tillerson visits Afghanistan, Iraq

    Military

    BAGHDAD — Far from the Washington murmurs about his future, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson traveled to two of America's enduring war zones Monday, prodding leaders in Afghanistan and Iraq to reach out to longtime rivals.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, speaks Monday at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, accompanied by Gen. John Nicholson, left, and Special Charge d’Affaires Amb. Hugo Llorens.
  3. Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man

    Accidents

    TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

    Shackelford
  4. Pinellas sees slight increase in black and first-year teachers

    Blogs

    A year after the Pinellas County school district was chastised in a state report for clustering inexperienced teachers in the state's most struggling schools, the district has reported a first look at its teacher corps.

    The Pinellas County school district has taken a first look at first-year teachers in struggling schools and minority hiring, both of which ticked slightly upward.
  5. Editorial: Trump owes apology to fallen soldier's Miami family

    Editorials

    There is no more sacred, solemn role for a president than to comfort grieving family members of soldiers who have given their lives in service of their country. Those calls cannot be easy, and some presidents are better at it than others. Yet President Donald Trump and his administration continue to engage in a …