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Orlando internship program teaches students job skills, training

Summer Youth Employment spearheaded by OPD Lt. Debra Clayton

ORLANDO, Fla. – A program that had been spearheaded, inpart, by slain officer Lt. Debra Clayton has even bigger success its second year.

The Summer Youth Employment program with District 5 City Commissioner Regina Hill and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer provides Parramore teenagers and young adults with paid internships throughout the city at the University of Central Florida, hotels, city government offices and the office of U.S. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Florida A&M University sophomore Willie Hobdy worked with the senator on casework, helping with constituents, and other tasks. He said he never dreamed of such an opportunity. "Before I wasn't really thinking about going to a senator's office, but once the opportunity presented itself, I was like, let's do it," he said.

More than 100 students participated in the program. Some were offered jobs at the conclusion, including Jaron Finklea, who helped the city create an app to help purchase permits. He says he will encourage other Parramore kids to participate.

"Coming from where I'm from it just lets you know, it's bigger than your comfort zone," Finklea said. "You just have to step out and try new things, you never know where it leads you."

The program is run in conjunction with Parramore Kidz Zone.