Local youth organization helps at-risk students get jobs

Updated: 03/06/2014 6:03 PM | Created: 03/06/2014 5:56 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's just another day at the office for Jason Tapia at the Tax Assessor's office. It's not the career he may have had in mind growing up, but it's much better than where he was a few years ago.

"I was getting in trouble a lot, and I got suspended. I couldn't return to school because I had too many suspensions so I was really out of luck there," he said.

He's getting help from Youth Development Incorporated. The non-profit provides educational help to at-risk children, teens and their families in the Albuquerque Metro. 

Now some of the students in the program are getting hands on experience in the real-world.

The Bernalillo County Assessor's Office partnered with Youth Development Incorporated to bring in at-risk youth off the streets and into the workforce. A year later, that means real jobs for some of these students, like Jason Tapia and Dominic Griego.

Griego now works full-time in customer service and is also a full-time student at UNM.

"It's good work experience, definitely. They helped me get my foot in the door and they took me seriously. They didn't treat me as a kid," he said.

It's a win for the students, a win for the Assessor's Office, and a win for New Mexico.

Tapia tells us that he wouldn't be anywhere today if he didn't get with the program.

"It's getting me closer to my goal. It is the solution to my problem," he said.

Damian Lara, the Deputy County Assessor, hopes this program continues and hopes other businesses will get involved.

By the way, Dominic is pursuing a degree in Accounting from UNM and Jason hopes to become a fireman.

To find out more on Youth Development Incorporated, click on the link below:

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