Local program connects inner city youth to jobs

Posted at 5:31 PM, Jul 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-22 18:34:30-04

A local program is connecting inner city teens with summer jobs at the Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield.
16-year-old Jeremiah Bragg's has been busy this summer taking pride in his work while keeping the grounds beautiful.

"I often drive past (the grounds) in the car and think, wow, I just did that. I just mulched that. It looks great,” Bragg said.

Bragg was selected from Operation Dream, a non-profit program that serves males ages 4 to 17, from at-risk environments. The teens get full-time mentoring, job experience, even transportation to their jobs.

Golf Course Superintendent Bryan Bergner shares, "Operation Dream has really set the bar high. They do a great job. We've been with them for four years now and am continually impressed by the young men they get into the program. "

Bergner says offering such opportunities is the right thing to do. He adds, "we all as humans have a responsibility to try to negate as much as the negativity out there as possible and this is one way of doing so."

So now, every summer young men like Jeremiah get job training, life skills, and discipline.

Jeremiah must get up at 2:30 am to go to work. But Bragg has a positive attitude about what he does. He explains, "a lot of people golf here, and pay a lot of money to golf here. It just feels good to know that I'm a part of helping them have a good experience."

Thanks to Operation Dream and the Westmoor Country Club, inner city teens can take a swing at success and get a glimpse of a world they often never see.

Bragg and Bergner have both learned from the experience.

Bragg admits, "I never even knew what mulching was until I came out here. It really has opened my eyes and members on the management team of the gifts that we have but often take for granted. You hear the story of the boys and when you talk to them and they've got some real challenges."

Bragg sums up his summer job experience this way. "It makes you feel good at the end of the day."