Eleven year-old Ciara Williams is not old enough to work in a restaurant, but she's learning how to operate one, "Oh yes! It's like having a job and everything and what it would be like."
She and other kids are busy at the Wesley Center in Portsmouth-- taking customer orders---serving food, dishing it up in the kitchen and even learning the role of host and hostess, essentially getting an idea of what it's like to own a restaurant resulting in 12-year-old Ramyah Parker saying, "Gives me a great opportunity to be an entrepreneur,"
The person behind it all is Dadrian Jenkins, founder of a non-profit group uniting Youth In Action. One of the things she runs, is this six week camp called Kids Cafe. What does she hope the kids take away? "Service, service experience, restaurant experience, just some type of trade already at a young age-----just giving them a learning experience."
The meals are available to the community---parents, Regina Paremore come out and support their children. "I think it is a great experience for the children, to learn about working and be able to follow directions."
In addition to the lessons they're learning from this Kids Café, there's also a summer enrichment night, that's where professionals from the community come in and they talk about their careers sharing that information with the children.
Her friend Drika Oliver wanted to honor Dadrian and sent me this email. "Dadrian had a vision a few years ago to start a program that would have impact in the lives of our youth." And because of what she's doing, we presented Dadrian with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
Dadrian was very appreciative---but understands, it's important to give back. "I get joy.... I love doing it!"