Teens Handcuffed On The Mall For Selling Water Now Have Summer Jobs With Hope Project

Undercover @usparkpolicepio handcuffing kids on @NationalMallNPS for selling water. pic.twitter.com/7iSqP4UYMq

Last Thursday three teens we handcuffed for selling water at the National Mall last. The teens, planned to work at Six Flags but were not hired. The police claim they were afraid of the Black teens and their water. However with twitter being what it is, the photos went viral and someone reached out to the young men and offered them internships. Raymond Bell, the founder of the HOPE Project, saw the photos and within 15 minutes had found them on social media.

According to Park Police spokesperson Anna Rose, four males—three teens and one adult—were detained by officers for illegally vending. While the adult was released after officers determined he wasn’t associated with the vending, the three juveniles were released to the custody of their guardians with a verbal warning.

Mr. Bell’s organization has provided technical and information technology training to local young adults since 2009. The HOPE Project program is for high school graduates, but Bell wants to provide the so-called “Water Boys” with a structured environment this summer. He says he’ll pay them D.C. minimum wage (which’ll be $12.50 an hour starting July 1). He says The HOPE Project is the perfect fit for the young men because “this is what we do anyway.”

“I really want them to leave with a technical certification,” Bell says, along with training in how to replace iPhone and laptop screens. “I want to really fuel their entrepreneurial ambitions. They’re going back to high school in the fall, but I want them to leave with a credential, with some skills that could be an income generator.”

“I just want to thank the guy who took the picture,” one of the teens told WJLA. “Without him, none of these opportunities would have been possible.”



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