Project matches students, work in Dryden

It was clear from that first meeting in the spring that Lexi Hartley was a woman on a mission.

As program educator with Dryden Rural Youth Services, one of Lexi’s many hats was to create and oversee successful summer employment opportunities for Dryden teens.

Part of the mission plan was the creation of Project Lead, a job readiness program for Dryden youths ages 13 to 16, or kids “too old for camp but too young to work.” With a goal to help youths learn more about their community and develop important workplace skills, Project Lead is a resounding success.

Students were able to attend on a weekly basis, as their schedules allowed, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday over a seven-week period. Each week, they participated in job skills workshops, games and community service projects with home bases in all of Dryden’s hamlets. They worked at Camp Earth Connections on Hammond Hill, on the Rail Trail in Freeville and Etna, at the Dryden Community Garden, the Varna Community Center and at Tompkins Cortland Community College.

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