Dozens of youth who completed YOU Boston's Summer 2016 Employment Program were recognized Wednesday by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and other city officials.
The summer employment program is for high- and proven-risk youth, between the ages of 14 and 24.
This summer, many lives took a turn for the better because YOU Boston gave students jobs.
"As I grow older I appreciate everyday that I'm able to learn something new. I appreciate the people around me that was able to make this possible," said Devin Edwards, program participant.
At 18-years-old, Edwards chose to drop out of school and pursue a life of crime, dealing with the court system and even getting locked up. The Y-O-U program showed him that lifestyle couldn't be the end of his story and made sure it wasn't.
"I came in with only a GED under my belt," said Edwards. "As time went on I learned how to code. I went from coding to transitioning to City Hall."
For $10 an hour, the students were able to make close to $1,600 this summer.
"This is about team building and community building and giving young people options and that's what it's really all about," said Walsh.
Money aside, each student was kept off the streets and out of trouble.
"Even though they make mistakes sometimes, we as a community should pick them up," said Boston Police Chief, William Gross. "Help them overcome obstacles, and help them be future leaders."
Each of the participants say they can now look forward to a bright future.
"Any mistake you have made, you can go and better that mistake," said Edwards."
As for Edwards, there's a possibility that he could receive a full time position with the city of Boston. Other students can either receive help in pursuing their education or the possibility of having a job in the fall.