The Thornton Township's summer enrichment program benefits both teens and the community and aims to help limit the teens' exposure to crime and violence. Participating students have the opportunity to earn money by providing lawn care for seniors. Half of the students are also offered educational activities to help them remain mentally stimulated over the summer.
"Many of the students end up falling back in terms of information that they have learned throughout the regular school career over the course of the summer so it made sense to do something to act as a bridge or stabilizing force for those kids," said Dr. Jerry Weems, the program's director.
Up 180 students are hired each summer.