BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — In 2019, Jade and Andre Hursey with the Jule Foundation youth program reached out to Bloomington city leadership, encouraging the city to start a program to help expose young people to local government.
2 years later, the Youth Enrichment Program now has 14 mentees, and leaders with the city hope to add to that number.
“The main goal of the program is to expose youth in our community to programs in government, to possible careers in government,” said Nicole Albertson, Human Resources Director with the city.
Albertson helps oversee the program and said they have many opportunities for participants.
“Anywhere from office, to fire, to police, parks and rec, public works, engineering, we’ve got quite a wide variety of positions, legal, our legal department,” said Albertson.
Their hope: to plant the seed young, and maybe even bring up Bloomington’s next generation of government officials.
Mentee Amaya Hursey wants to be an attorney and said the program has already offered her insight into the field of law.
“I’ve been able to go to the legal department and sat in on administrative court, and just court cases, I think that was very interesting and it kind of opened my eyes,” Hursey said.
Another mentee, Bradley Ross-Jackson, said the program opened his eyes to just how much work goes into running a city.
“I didn’t know that it was this in-depth, and now that I’m learning it, I’ll make sure to tell others, and I hope to be here next year,” said Ross-Jackson.
Any youths who are interested in the program are encouraged to call or email Bloomington’s human resources department.