TeenWorks program provides more than just a summer job for local youth

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Summer is always a tough time to keep kids occupied, but right now, more than 200 teens are staying busy and getting paid through community-service organization called TeenWorks.

The program is in its 37th year, and for many of the teens we spoke to, it’s about a lot more than just bringing home a paycheck.

Amber Fry, 15, was having a tough time a few years ago. She was separated from her mom, placed in foster care, and at her lowest point.

But one day she saw a flier for the TeenWorks program and decided to apply.

These days, she walks 45 minutes each morning to her pick-up site and says the experience has given her a whole new outlook on life.

“My mindset five years ago, was I did not care. I did what I wanted to do, I didn’t care about what anybody else had to say, I just did what I wanted to do,” Amber said.

TeenWorks also offers an all-year-round program where teens can be matched with a local employer.

Amber is in the process of applying for that program and says she wants to become a mechanic and own her own business.

CBS4 was so touched by Amber’s story, and we wanted to give back to her. A local franchise owner of Meineke has agreed if Amber finishes all six weeks of the program, she’ll be able to shadow one of their mechanics for the day.

We’ll be following Amber’s journey and will keep you updated.