CHICAGO — The city's summer jobs program helped 20,000 kids find work over the summer, a number that turned out to be higher than expected, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.
The mayor is expected to tout the One Summer Chicago program during a Thursday event with Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
The city said 2,000 more kids than expected benefited from the program, with the summer jobs spread out at 1,800 work places, including some in the private sector. The city said about 280 received offers for ongoing employment.
Emanuel also plans to honor one teen on Thursday with the "Game Change Award."
According to the mayor's office, Deshawn Shepherd, a 19-year-old former gang member, credits the jobs program for turning his life around.
He's now working part time for FedEx and is a full-time student at Olive-Harvey College with dreams of becoming a pharmacist, according to a pre-event news release from the mayor's office.
The former Thornwood High School student earned his GED from Olive-Harvey and now talks to younger kids about the dangers of gangs.