We’ve written about teen violence before, and it’s been proven that teen jobs are one of the most important preventions for reducing violence, especially as the semester draws to a close. Even though school may be out for the summer and percentages of school shootings and bullying are down, violence is still an issue. A study in Scientific American which followed working teens highlights the correlation between employment amongst teens and violence. Teens with jobs are proven to cut 1/2 the violence as their unemployed counterparts.
This study showed that job programs for teens during summer might be effective. One Chicago program offers 8-week programs working as camp counselors, community gardeners, or government office workers. The work helps kids learn to manage conflict, reduce stress and increase self-control. These programs offer a simple, low-cost, and effective solution to a problem as nuanced and complicated as youth violence. The study discusses research by Sara Heller of the University of Pennsylvania and how she found that a summer jobs program significantly reduced violent crime by African-American youth for as long as a year after they stopped working and were back in school.
Heller found a 43% reduction in arrests for violent crimes—murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Heller suspects that both the job and the learning opportunity gave the teenagers the ability to deal with conflicts without resorting to violence. There are plenty of summer job resources for teenagers out there, even if some cities, such as Chicago, have more fully implemented programs. It’s better to put teens to work as a preventative to violence. Here are some great sources to help teens find jobs and volunteer opportunities.
Please share these teen job resources with your community, friends and family:• Groovejob: a great source for finding summer jobs and internships.
• Big Brother Big Sister: Being a Big Brother or Big Sister is enjoyable an fulfilling. Volunteering with this program can be a great way for a student to spend their time this summer.
• The Idealist: One of the largest volunteer opportunity website to find not only volunteer positions, but jobs and internships.
As law enforcement officers you are vital members of the communities that you serve. One such way to serve is by sharing resources for student activities this summer that will keep youth away from violence and keep your community safer. If you find great sources, please share them in the comments.