kayla foster

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 14:31

Contact: Kayla Foster

Benton Harbor Summer Impact is a community collaboration that provides area children with an opportunity to engage in unique academic and camp-like enrichment activities. Programming is run in Benton Harbor area sites and led by site coordinators and high school student workers at each location.

This year, Summer Impact has 26 student workers from Benton Harbor area. Student workers work closely with youth at three site locations by running crafts, games, and activities, as well as working as mentors for local youth.

“The program provides youth employment training to high school students who serve as workers throughout the summer,” said Dr. Zechariah Hoyt, YMCA of Southwest Michigan. “This employment provides the opportunity to build self-confidence, mentoring skills, workforce development, and social skills while encouraging healthy lifestyles, and giving back the community.”

Beyond working with kids in the sites, student workers from Benton Harbor and St. Joseph High Schools, receive weekly training to improve their work skills for future jobs. These skills include safety awareness with Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, American Red Cross First Aid and CPR training with the YMCA of Southwest Michigan, job skill training with Kinexus Group, financial literacy with Honor Credit Union, food safety training with Boys & Girls Club of Benton Harbor and State of Michigan, and more.

Student workers also collect data; including student attendance, the number of meals served, impact stories written by student workers, and student work job evaluations.

Benton Harbor Summer Impact will run July 8-August 15; Monday-Thursday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. daily. Site locations are Broadway Site at 200 Paw Paw Avenue, Union Site at 1250 Union Avenue, and Benton Heights First Church of God at 900 N. Euclid Avenue in Benton Harbor.

For more information, please visit ymcaswm.com or visit our Facebook page ‘Benton Harbor Summer Impact.’


About Benton Harbor Summer Impact: Benton Harbor Summer Impact provides free programming throughout the summer in Benton Harbor area sites. This initiative is made possible through collaboration with Benton Harbor Education Foundation, Benton Harbor Area Schools, Community In Schools, Benton Harbor Police and Fire, Benton Heights First Church of God, Berrien Community Foundation, Berrien County Marine Division, Boys and Girls Clubs of Benton Harbor, Community Organizing and Family Issues, Curious Kids’ Museum, Cycle-Re-Cycle, Frederick S. Upton Foundation, Great Start Collaborative, Honor Credit Union Foundation, Kinexus Group, New Heights Christian Community Development Association, United Way of Southwest Michigan, YMCA of Southwest Michigan, and more.