Jackson summer program helps kids and city

Local News

There’s an effort in Jackson to get kids more involved in their communities. One man in particular is spurring a new movement aimed at kids and designed to help keep the city clean.

The kids are all in the Save Our Youth summer work program and on Friday they worked at the Officer James Bonneau Memorial Bridge. The memorial is honoring the life of Bonneau who was killed in the line of duty.

The kids said the bridge is a gateway into their community and they want to make sure that the people who are driving over it see something nice and it doesn’t become an eyesore.

Back in 2004, the program’s founder Thomas Burke was an officer at the Jackson prison. He said it bothered him seeing so many young people who were locked up.

So that year, he created the Save Our Youth nonprofit organization. For the kids who get involved, he hopes they have a better outcome.

This is the first year, Burke has incorporated the summer work program.

“It teaches them self respect, in other words integrity which will give them the incentive to want to do more for themselves which in essence will help them to grow in the community,” Burke said.

14-year-old Micah Dunlap said, “I think that this helps us build character, I think it helps us build team work and I think it helps us build leadership too.”

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