"It was fun. It was better than just sitting at home during the
summer," Michael said. "I learned a lot of stuff, and I got paid for
Michael was one of hundreds of Glendale and Burbank youths who
worked this summer and this year through the Glendale Youth Alliance.
Thirty of his fellow employees were honored as workers of the summer
and workers of the year, and another 13 were awarded scholarships
during Wednesday's awards luncheon at the Glendale Civic Auditorium.
The GYA has been helping teens 14 through 21 find work throughout
the community since 1993.
Programs include brush clearance for first-time workers with
little or no previous experience and year-round jobs for youths with
The alliance aims to help employ youths by teaching them job
skills that cannot be learned in a classroom or in a textbook.
This is the first year the GYA has included Burbank youths in its
work program, Burbank coordinator Summer Barwick said. Because
Glendale initially applied for state funds reserved for the Verdugo
area, including Glendale, Burbank and La Canada Flintridge, Burbank's
program was operated by its employees for its youths as part of the
"This is the first time we've ever done this and it was very
successful," Barwick said. "We hired 50 youths in Burbank we would
not have been able to hire in past years."
During the 2003-04 program year, the GYA employed 205 teens in its
summer youth employment program, 51 teens in its Glendale Youth
Employment Partnership, 52 youths in its STARS (Students Taking
Action to Reach for the Stars) program and 29 teens in its GREAT
(Glendale's Resource for Employment and Training) program. Fifty-one
youths also served at the Boy Scout Explorer Post #604 to learn
leadership training and experience.