JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – Thomas Burke is often busy reviewing job applications from Jackson teenagers.

“It’s not just a program it’s a personal relationship being built, said Founder of Save our Youth, Thomas Burke.

He’s making sure each one is ready to go out to dozens of local businesses. It’s part of his mission to get more young people involved in their communities.

“They register for the program, we have a list of areas where we would like the youth to work. They can tell us where they would like to work,” said Burke.

And there’s a catch, Burke’s non-profit ‘Save Our Youth’ will pay the salaries for every job.

“The money we receive from this program comes from grants, donations, and fundraising,” said Burke.

This includes a recent donation of more than $15,000. So far it’s helped employ teens ages 14 to 17 to around a dozen businesses. Everything from work at museums, to libraries to Henry Ford Hospital, as well as restaurants like Wingity Ann’s. It’s something the owner there says is needed right now.

“You know nowadays we are in the era of the cell phones and the video games, so we are trying to get them more out so that they can be more social,” said Owner of Wingity Ann’s, Ray Robinson. “It’s a wonderful thing to me because what we want to do is save the youth, we want to help the youth.”

Burke says the support of the community has been overwhelming.

“This means a lot. For the community to even be interested in being part of this shows me that they are interested in helping the growth of the youth,” said Burke.

Burke says he hopes to get 50 kids placed by the time summer rolls around. For ways you can get involved check out the link below.

Save Our Youth – Save Our Youth. Help Them Prosper. (saveouryouthjackson.org)