Do We Really Need Their Help?
Students reported for work for a dynamic summer job…at Boys Town Jerusalem. Exchanging their book satchels for tool kits and paint brushes, the students took their places on the work crew repairing and readying the school facilities for the upcoming school year.
Yet for these young men, the summer job is also a lifesaver.
Each was chosen due to the poverty or emotional strife that darkens his family life. Alon, 15, is handing his earnings straight to his mother for food. Soon after his parents’ bitter divorce, Alon’s father was injured on the job and sends no child support whatsoever. At school, Alon struggles with serious learning difficulties. Yet as a member of the BTJ work crew, he is in top demand. From painting rooms to organizing office materials, Alon’s diligence and pride in his work drive him to excellence.
“For the boys, the opportunity to earn money not only boosts their self-esteem but also enables them to help their families.”
Other Boys Town Jerusalem student workers this summer include boys who participated in the school’s heritage trip to Poland last spring. In many cases where families could not afford the (highly subsidized) cost of the trip, the students were offered the chance to work as counselors in the BTJ Summer Camp in lieu of payment.
An extra bonus for the student work crew is to enjoy a lunch on campus with the faculty. For many of these boys, there is very little food at home, and so, a wholesome and delicious lunch is a most meaningful and appreciated “perk”.
“It’s one of the best investments we make.”
“Both the school and the students gain a great deal from the Summer Work Program,” states Assistant High School Principal Yoram Ram. “For the boys, the opportunity to earn money not only boosts their self-esteem but also enables them to help their families. Plus, there’s a long-term benefit to the school from our summer workers. The boys always come back to school with a new appreciation for the upkeep of the campus, and continue to lend a hand all year round. It’s one of the best investments we make.”