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Saints Participate in City of New Orleans' JOB 1 Youth Summer Program

Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc spoke about program at a press conference on Wednesday


The New Orleans Saints partnered with the City of New Orleans' JOB 1 youth summer program to provide New Orleans students with a unique opportunity to learn professional work experience.

Students, ages, 13-22, were eligible to apply for the program and more than 3,000 submitted applications. 12 students were assigned to the Saints facility in Metairie.

Participants gained on-the-job training in a number of departments at the team's facility, specifically with the Ticket Office, Youth Programs and Marketing departments.

"We have been eager to embrace the JOB 1 program because the initiative encompasses one of the core values of our organization: youth development," said Saints' Owner/Executive Vice President Rita Benson LeBlanc.

"The opportunity that has been afforded to the young men and women that have worked throughout the program this summer has allowed them to see the importance of staying in school, completing their education and above else, setting and pursuing their career goals. They are discovering the principles and importance of dependability, industriousness and commitment."

In the Ticket Office, the students worked on large-scale paperwork scanning projects to digitize and organize hundreds of season ticket account forms.

The program's participants also served as coaches during the Saints' United Way's Community Patrol camps at the team's facility. They organized football drills and provided life skills advice for the campers.

The marketing department utilized the students to help promote and organize their numerous events on-and-off site.

"Our best tool in improving our economy and reducing crime is by investing in activities for our youth," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "When we began completely revamping the summer jobs program for our teens, we asked for responsible corporate sponsors to partner with us.

Tess Williams, a senior at Dillard University, said taking part in the JOB 1 program has been a great learning experience. The 22-year old New Orleans native said the on-the-job training was very beneficial, but what she most enjoyed was giving back to the community.

"It's been exciting to be a part of this program," said Williams. "To learn the ins and outs of a professional team all while helping impact the lives of kids has been great."

The program's participants have helped the facilities, equipment and marketing staffs prepare for the hundreds of people that take part in the team's training camp that opened for practice Friday, July 29.

"Naturally, the New Orleans Saints answered our call and have provided a dozen New Orleans teens with an unforgettable summer job," said Landrieu. "This type of public-private partnership helps to cultivate a more career-ready workforce and gives our youth an opportunity to grow in a professional environment. I would like to thank the Saints and the Benson family for taking part in this vital program."

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