Sumter, SC (WLTX) - The Sumter Police Department is helping teens learn life skills by cleaning up parks for the summer.
40 kids in Sumter applied, interviewed, and got a job through a program called Youth Corps. They all have to follow a code which means they have to show up to work on time, respect others around them, and work as hard as they can.
One of the teens that has to be at work 7:30 sharp every morning is Yiasia Sanders.
"Being in the sun, being in the hot, having to work hard, it's part of the job so we have to get it done," said Sanders.
The kind of work that they do, is not a walk in the park.
"Raking leaves, mowing the grass to make it look better, weed-eating around the fences to make the park look nice," said Cody Hodges, another kid who works for Youth Corps.
This isn't the first year Sanders has been a part of the program. When she first started, she had a lot to worry about.
"I was scared to cut grass. I was nervous and scared to mess up," said Sanders. "It was just scary but this year I feel like I'm doing a good job setting an example."
Lead Corporal, Peter Schmidt, has been helping run the program since 1999 and he believes that it helps the kids' social and working skills bloom.
"If you're going to earn a paycheck, well you have to work for a paycheck. It's not just handed to you," said Schmidt. "Watching them grow throughout the summer, some of these kids dramatically improve with their working skills and even their social skills."
Although it's all work Monday through Thursday, the teenagers get to have a little fun on Fridays by going on field trips to places like Shaw Air Force Base, Charleston, and even Carowinds.
The program helps maintain thirteen parks in the town of Sumter and lasts for seven weeks.
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