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Shelby County Youth Summer Camp Scholarship offering free to low costs for kids

“I started screaming at school and crying because, in my mind, I’m able to reach more kids,” said Kimberly Jones, Rusty Autohouse and PCES.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are just a few weeks left of the school year, and it’s summer vacation for students. Many Memphis parents are looking for activities for youth; however, some activities such as summer camps, come at a cost. 

Now a youth summer camp scholarship is helping families in Memphis participate in area programs.

Summer is what many kids look forward to as it’s a time to be carefree and have fun

“A lot of students that I talk to, they are interested in doing things during the summer, not just staying in the house all day,” said Kimberly Jones, PCES and Rusty Autohouse.

We first introduced you to Jones back in March. She is an educator who runs Rusty Autohouse and PCES, a stem automotive program. 

“Teaching some of our young kids how to do basic mechanic work or work in the automotive field, programming, paint, body work,” said Jones.

It is an opportunity that prevents some of the vehicle thefts involving youth.

“They say what is it for me to go bust out a window and make $25,000. I said what is it for you to go through my program and learning the correct way of how to program and do body work and how to paint and make $25,000. In that case, you don’t have to worry about going to jail,” said Jones.

The challenge is that everyone cannot afford summer camp program. To assist, Shelby County government started a Youth Summer Camp Scholarship grant to help kids from lower income families participate in summer activities.

Rusty Autohouse is one of those winners receiving $12,000. 

“I started screaming at school and crying because, in my mind, I’m able to reach more kids,” said Jones. “Some of the people who are part of the program will receive stipends for teaching kids.”

It is a burden off parents and a relief for students. 

“Now they have a way to go to work and have their kids in a safe space,” said Jones.

Shelby County Mayor, Lee Harris, said in a statement, “It is my hope that we all continue to identify strategies to support the youngest members of our community, help keep them on the right path, and invest in our young people’s future.”

The grant is awarded to 11 different programs helping more than 600 children.

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