A: “Back in the summer of 1984, a lot of my friends and I were just hanging out. I wanted to do something else. Instead of doing nothing and hanging out on Mott Street I decided to sign up to work in the Summer Youth Employment Program. I was assigned to work for A Place for Kids, but back then it was called Asian Children’s Underground.”
Q: What do you remember about working at A Place for Kids?
A: “I remember I taught the kids English, took class trips, and took them to the park everyday - sometimes Cherry Street Park, Smith Projects’ Park, or Columbus Park. I didn’t work for too long, just in the summer program and then did some office work in the after-school program.”
Q: What did you learn from working in the program?
A: “Back then as a fifteen year old I just looked at it as a job. It kept me busy, off the streets. I had a good time and it was a very positive first job experience. It’s easy for kids to just be hanging out. Kids need to be doing something active and beneficial for themselves and for the community.”
Q: What would you like to share about the program today?
A: “I have a five year old son, Jeremy, and as a parent I understand the importance of having your kids being well taken care of in a good program. My wife, Laura, and I both work. I’m a chef working six days a week and twelve hours a day and my wife, Laura, also works full time. We look forward to seeing Jeremy come home at the end of the day, healthy, happy and you know that it was a good day for him. That’s what A Place for Kids did for those kids back then and has continued to do so for 37 years. You’ve had a big chunk of Chinatown going through the halls. You guys are doing something right.”