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Mayfair merchants employing Lincoln students

On-the-job training: Councilman Bobby Henon meets with students participating in job experiences through the Lincoln Internship Exchange Program at the Mayfair HUB. Source: Councilman Bobby Henon’s office

Ten students are participating in the first Abraham Lincoln High School Internship Exchange Program.

City Councilman Bobby Henon and School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite visited Stein Your Florist, 7059 Frankford Ave., to check in with owner Patrick Kelly and his two newest employees.

Yuyao Li and Jeremy Poole are Lincoln juniors who are part of the eight-week program.

“We stock and organize the store to make it look nice,” Poole said.

Others on the visit included Sheila Ireland, executive director of the Office of Workforce Development; and Marc Collazzo, executive director of the Mayfair Business Improvement District.

The program is providing temporary after-school employment for Lincoln students at businesses along the Frankford Avenue corridor in Mayfair.

Other participating businesses are the Mayfair HUB, Creations Unisex Hair Salon, Giggles Gifts, Lloyd Sixsmith Sporting Goods and Mayfair Diner. Students earn $10 an hour and work up to 10 hours a week.

“All the business owners have raved that the kids have been punctual, enthusiastic and great workers,” Collazzo said.

Henon began developing the program as a way to ease tensions between Lincoln students and the surrounding Mayfair community. After visiting the school for various programs, he realized the perception of Lincoln students in the eyes of community members did not match all of the progress he saw inside the school.

“It’s connecting kids with opportunities. They can be really productive given the opportunity,” he said.

Henon said the program is another win for Mayfair, which will be holding its second annual arts festival and will be home to the “mural mile.”

“This is great. It meshes with a lot of other things happening in Mayfair,” he said.

Funding for the program is being provided through Philadelphia Works, and the program is being administered by Philadelphia Youth Network with assistance from the city Department of Commerce Office of Talent Development. ••

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