One Summer Chicago is a summer youth work program for youth ages 14 through 24 that allows teens and young adults to get employed and work throughout the hot summer months in Chicago. The program was started by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and is open to residents of Chicago.

A couple of weeks ago, I went and joined my fellow communications intern, David M., at a church in Englewood with other youth with the One Summer Chicago program. They were working on a church garden to fix it up and look better for the neighborhood community. David and I spent some time at the worksite talking to the 14-and 15-year-old participants about why they joined One Summer Chicago, what their plans are for when the program ends and about their life in Chicago. Here’s the story of Andre.

Andre is working with Chicagobility for the summer, part of One Summer Chicago, at a community garden that belongs to the Congregational Church of Park Manor. Andre is another cool and smart individual that was interviewed the Tuesday we visited the garden.

At the end of the summer, Andre is looking forward to entering into high school, getting involved in sports and meeting some cool new people at Fenger High School. Andre had a summer job before so this one is not his first. At his previous job, he worked on repairing bikes that people brought in to him to get help on.  Andre said that if he had a chance to work any job it would be to be an actor.

Andre likes Chicago and he feels the city is at its best when nothing is going on around neighborhoods and nobody is getting arrested or anything like that. Although we only spoke for a short time, Andre seemed like a really good, open person and has a bright future ahead of him.

David T. is a communications intern at Children’s Home & Aid and will be a senior in high school this fall at Perspectives Charters School in Chicago. He is a member of his high school football team football and hopes to continue his football dream and career throughout college.

David T. and David M. are working together on a series of stories about the participants in One Summer Chicago. This is the final blog entry in a seven-part series