This week, Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Linda I. Gibbs and Department of Probation Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi kicked off NYC Summer YouthWRAP, a city initiative to connect teen probation clients with paid summer jobs rebuilding Hurricane Sandy-affected sites in the five boroughs. The seven-week program is a continuation of NYC YouthWRAP (Weekend Restoration Assistance Program) through the summer months, and will give 450 youngsters between the ages of 14 and 18 a chance to make money and build skills by repairing homes, restoring parks and canvassing communities that were hit by the superstorm.

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“When I showed up for my first YouthWRAP orientation back in January, I never would have imagined that six months later I’d be here telling you how important this program has been for me,” said Aquarius Petteway, a participant of the YouthWRAP program. “I’ve seen first-hand how much some people suffered because of the storm, and it feels good helping them out. YouthWRAP is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, and I think the summer is going to be even better.”

The first two phases of NYC YouthWRAP started in January and since then, participants have already logged 13,587 hours of service, served 32,000 meals, packed 11,000 containers of food and non-perishable items, given out 1,000 cases of water, cleaned up 2,000 bags of leaves from seven NYC Parks, repainted and repaired 30 park benches, loaded 12 trucks with relief materials and repaired 10 houses.

“Two of the most effective ways we can help young people in the justice system lead law-abiding lives are by connecting them to good jobs and providing opportunities for them to give back to their community,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “NYC Summer YouthWRAP achieves both of these objectives. And it’s not only the participants and their families who benefit – YouthWRAP has a proven track record of providing meaningful assistance to New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy.”

This summer’s phase of YouthWRAP is expected to see 450 participants completing an additional 70,875 hours of service.

Photos via NYC Mayor’s Office Flickr