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First Lady of Georgia Announces Expansion of TeenWork Program

Thursday, March 9, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

ATLANTA – First Lady Mary Perdue and Department of Human Resources (DHR) Commissioner BJ Walker announced today the expansion of the TeenWork program, now in its second year. Additions to the program include more summer work programs, new opportunities for developmentally disabled teens in foster care and an apprenticeship program for ages 14-15.   

TeenWork introduces teens in foster care to the professional work environment, adds positive mentors to teach workplace fundamentals, and gives teens in foster care across Georgia a successful start in their working careers. The collaboration of additional state agencies, corporations and charity groups will provide teens with the opportunity to gain knowledge through a real-world working experience.    

 "I'm delighted to see that more private and public agencies have stepped in this year to help foster teens gain valuable life skills," said First Lady Mary Perdue. "The lessons they will learn during their experiences will carry over and help them prepare for meaningful employment in the future."

The 2006 TeenWork program includes pledges from the Masons and Rotary organizations of Georgia for every local chapter to sponsor the employment of one TeenWork foster teen.

"Rotary is pleased to be a part of the First Lady's TeenWork program because we have a vital interest in the future of our state, our nation and the world," said Rotary District Governor Claudia Mertl.  "I am convinced that youth are one of most important assets and that every opportunity we can give them not only helps them, but helps us as well."

The TeenWork program is a project of the First Lady's Children's Cabinet. Its objective to help transition Georgia 's youth in foster care into successful, responsible and independent adults. This year's program runs June 5 through July 14.  Last summer, 600 teens in foster care were employed through the TeenWork program and gained a greater understanding of the professional world.