PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria area teenagers in the Mayor’s Summer Youth Program hit the ground running Tuesday morning.

One of their first projects is cleaning up around the spot they will meet at each morning on south Washington Street.

“What we do is. We clean out the base here. Picking up a lot of debris, Kinda spread out a little bit as you can see. Sweeping, weed pulling. Just trying to make it look a little better.” said Mayor’s Summer Youth Program Coordinator Meechie Edwards.

However, it won’t just be cleaning and clearing. According to the program’s application students will be interacting with city employees, helping on beatification and infrastructure projects, and learn new skills. All while getting paid $11 dollars an hour Monday through Friday.

Richwoods High School student, Riley Millard, is new to the program and is interested to see what the next eight weeks will bring.

“I’m hoping to get some team skills, some communication skills, as well as something good to look on my college application. Just some experience.” said Millard.

After the program is complete, he may not be the only one that learned new life skill

“It’s a great program. It helps out kids not only make a little money, but builds character., teach them responsibility, and professionalism in the workforce.” said Edwards

Students will work in the Mayor’s Youth Program through July 30th.