Though some teenagers spent the summer playing, others worked hard in hopes of a brighter future.
"I understand the sacrifices you had to make and I appreciate it," City of Memphis Youth Services Director James Nelson said.
A thousand young Memphians got their final paychecks of the summer Friday.
"It was practically my first job," Terri Anderson said, referring to her position at Maggie Moo's ice cream store. "I learned a lot while I was there."
The MPLOY Youth Summer Experience gave this group of 14- to 21-year-olds, chosen from a pool of six thousand applicants, a chance to work for 60 different companies throughout the city.
FedEx, International Paper, Nike and Baptist Health Care all offered opportunities to the young workers.
The program matched the teens with jobs that fit their own interests and skills.
"After I graduate from Soulsville, I want to be a business major," Anderson said. "Starting out with ice cream gets me into that business range."
Mayor A C Wharton, Councilwoman Wanda Halbert, and Youth Services Director James Nelson were on hand to congratulate the group at the Cook Convention Center.
"It was extremely hard," Anderson added. "Once I got to learn everybody and cope with everybody there, it was a fun experience."
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