Since I’ve been mayor, the well-being of our young people has been a primary focus of my administration. Education does not end when the school bell rings. That’s why:
- Our Capital City Kids afterschool program has made thousands of kids better, stronger and out of harm’s way.
- Over the past two summers, our APPS program has brought young people off the streets and into our recreation centers, it has interrupted gang and criminal activity, and has deterred young people from getting involved in drugs, crime and violence.
- Our new Youth First program has already distributed grants to youth sports leagues around Columbus.
- Hundreds of youngsters have participated in our City Readers program.
- And our summer youth employment initiatives have found paid internships for thousands of youth and young adults, including almost 2,000 just this past summer.
- We have invested millions in new sidewalks, safety signals, crosswalks and other infrastructure to help kids get safely to school and back.
While all these efforts are important, much more needs my attention, and much more needs to be done to put our kids first in Columbus.
As an extension of our past endeavors, Dr. Harris has now asked me to do more to put our kids first, to make sure they’re educated and prepared and ready to carry on the next generation of leadership in this community.