By Nyesha Stone
During Neu-Life’s 19-year span, it has considered itself as a drop-off center for neighborhood children. Although it’s always hired teens, Neu-Life is now being more intentional, said Neu-Life Director Jody Rhodes.
According to Rhodes, more than half of Neu-Life’s staff, throughout its four locations, are prior high school students who’ve been at Neu-Life before.
Neu-Life is known to hire high students to work on project-based assignments. Once kids enter Neu-Life they usually stay throughout the years, and they don’t get fired or laid off, said Rhodes.
“Our model has been working great throughout the years,” said Rhodes.
Now, Neu-Life is expanding their efforts with the opening of their New Youth Work Innovation Center—located at its main site at 2014 W. North Ave.
The ribbon cutting was held on April 4.
Along with the center is a structured program for the youth of Neu-Life to receive work training on site. The youth have the option to learn about gardening (agricultural), hospitality, life skills like teen pregnancy, construction, such as building a shed, and more.
Through the program, children as young as 12 can be paid to work on different projects with Neu-Life.
Rhodes said Neu-Life understands that the teens need good working skills, and that’s what they’ll get through Neu-Life’s program at the center, she said.
“They have the ability to succeed,” said Rhodes.
CEO of Neu-Life Joann Harris-Comodore said Neu-Life bases its resources off of what the kids need. She said they provide stability for the kids and the community.
“We listen to them,” said Harris-Comodore. “We are committed to the community [and] we invest in the youth.”
For more information on Neu-Life, visit https://www.neu-life.org/.