(Members of the Board, Isiah Brandon, Maywood Police Chief Valdimir Talley, Mayor Edwenna Perkins and Commissioner Hampton look on as Rep. Welch (shorts) present a check. Photo by Michael Romain for The Village Free Press).
Saturday, June 28, 2014 || By Michael Romain
MAYWOOD–State Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-7th) convened a press conference inside council chambers today to present the Village government and the Maywood Park District with the checks from two Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grants that the entities received. The Village received $489,600 and the Park District received $96,288–two of only four governmental entities that received the grants, which are administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.The other entities were the Village of Bellwood ($76,248) and the Memorial Park District ($80,640).
Rep. Welch also announced that two of Maywood’s largest nonprofits–the Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA) and Vision of Restoration, the social service arm of Rock of Ages Baptist Church–each received grants from the Department of Human Services worth $300,000 and $100,000, respectively.
The total state money going to Maywood governmental units and nonprofit agencies for summer youth employment amounts to nearly $1 million.
The Village will use its portion of the money to employ 100 youth between 14 and 18 years old, and 10 young adult supervisors between 19 and 26, for conservation- and recreation-related employment during the months of June, July and August. The Park District will hire 20 youth between 14 and 18 years old in the same area of work. Vision of Restoration and PLCCA will hire at least 75 individuals between 16 and 24 years old for summer employment in a range of areas.
Rep. Welch said that he was initially contacted about the Illinois Youth Recreation Corps grants by Isiah Brandon, who was looking for the grant money on behalf of the Mayor’s office. Brandon, the executive director of Youth on the Move, a nonprofit organization in Maywood, also founded and helps facilitate the Summer Youth Initiative, a project geared toward creating, and identifying already existing, free summer recreational and volunteer activities for young people in Maywood. The Village’s grant application was written with extensive help from the Maywood Police Department, which will administer the Village’s youth employment program.
“According to the Director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the two applications submitted by Maywood were two of the best applications his department has received,” Rep. Welch said.
Andrew Martin, PLCCA’s Vice President of Administration, said that his organization will be employing 75 youth starting Tuesday, 25 of whom will be employed at Brookfield Zoo. PLCCA is also the fiscal agent of Progressive Ministries and the Answer Inc., who together will be employing another 75 young people. The Answer will employ 20-25 youth with disabilities.
Mayor Perkins thanked Isiah Brandon, Chief Valdimir Talley, Rep. Welch and Sen. Kimberly Lightford for their parts in retrieving the money, but said that there is still more to be done.
“Next year, we’ve got to work harder. We had over 30 something young people who were at least 19 years old apply for supervisory positions,” she said. According to Martin, PLCCA saw about 75 applicants apply for their positions in a single day.
“We have to keep our youth active, motivated and encouraged and all of us are doing our part to make that happen,” said Rep. Welch. William Hampton agreed.
“This is the Maywood I know,” said Hampton, a Maywood Park District commissioner who was just recently elected president of the board. “This was a Village everyone wanted to come to, because they saw hope and a future. That future is in the making.” VFP
CORRECTION: The original version of this article incorrectly cited the amount of money allocated to the Maywood and Memorial park districts. It also incorrectly cited the range of ages eligible for the Village of Maywood and Maywood Park District jobs. This article has since been updated to account for those corrections.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying for any of these summer openings, please go in person to the following locations ASAP:
Maywood Police Department: 125 S. 5th Avenue, Maywood
Maywood Park District: 921 S. 9th Avenue, Maywood
PLCCA: 411 Madison Street, Maywood
Vision of Restoration: 1405 Madison Street, Maywood