Youth Crew Scrubs Headstones, Fencing at Cemetery

From the Polk Itemizer-Observer:

Hailey Howland is preparing for her future by embracing the past.

The Monmouth resident straddles this fine line through acquiring skills necessary to build her resume by cleaning one headstone at a time at Hilltop Cemetery near Independence.

Howland is part of the Community Services Consortium (CSC), a community action non-profit organization serving Polk and several other counties. CSC helps youths, ages 14-21, identify and work toward completing their own educational and employment goals.

For Howland, to achieve her goals means passing her GED test, check, while also finding a job, in progress.

The CSC mix of education and work experience works for her.

“I was just really struggling in the public school environment. It was just overwhelming to me,” she said. “I was just trying to find something smaller. Just get my high school credits over with, and I ended up finding this project.”

“Teachers and staff here are really, just really kind and caring,” she said. “And they really do care more about what’s going on than just how are you doing in school? It’s just a really good learning environment.”

Read the full article here.

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