Massachusetts cannot tolerate the budget cuts to the youth jobs programs YouthWorks and Connecting Activities proposed for fiscal 2011. We recognize that the state economy is in recession, but frugality cannot trump the inescapable need for robust job opportunities for our young people.
Connecting Activities integrates school and real-world learning by placing thousands of students in local internships. YouthWorks provides summer jobs for low-income and at-risk students. These programs have been highly successful but have seen their state-funded budgets eviscerated over the years.
Empowering our youths with jobs now will stimulate our debilitated economy, mitigate the social stress of recession and curb violence. We find it deplorable that our state legislators are tempted to prolong the already abysmally low funding for Connecting Activities and YouthWorks.
Ashley Medlar Brookline
The writer is media representative of SAVE: Student Allies for Vocational Experience at Boston College.