GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, a group of youth workers from across Warren County took a well-earned picnic. 29 students who spent their summer working with the Warren County Summer Youth Employment Program were thanked for a summer of hard work across the county workforce.

The picnic at East Field brought students together with representatives from the places where they’ve spent the summer working. Students aged 14 to 20 were part of the program, and were placed at a mix of municipal, nonprofit and business sites across Queensbury, Warrensburg, Lake George, Lake Luzerne, Johnsburg, Thurman, Chester and Glens Falls.

“While some of the youth returned to the program this summer for a second or third year, for many others, it was their first work experience and I want to commend all of the youth for taking a risk in trying something new,” said Warren County Employment and Training Director Liza Ochsendorf. “It is evident that they excelled in not only learning job skills but also learning something about themselves.”

Students were paid $15 per hour in the program. On Friday, some were commended for specific achievements.

  • Rising Star Award
    • Averi Belanger, 14, Queensbury
      • Honored for showing a great degree of growth during the program
  • Rock Star Award
    • Kyle Burkett, 16, Glens Falls
      • Honored for professionalism and work ethic
  • Employee of the Summer Award
    • Serenity Wood, 17, Johnsburg
      • Honored for perfect attendance and outstanding work qualities

“The Summer Youth Employment Program provides opportunities for young people to venture into a rewarding work experience while building professional relationships and learning new skills that positively impact their futures,” said Warren County Youth Counselor Jill Metcalfe. “A foundation is paved for the youth participant’s career path and is monumental in boosting their confidence and overall sense of achievement. It is incredibly rewarding to witness our youth grow during the six-week program, to believe in themselves and become inspired to pursue their lifelong goals.”

Metcalfe and Employment and Training Coordinator Andrea Kinderman were also honored. The two traveled across the county for the program, conducting site visits and checking in on students in action.