DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Juvenile criminal offenses are soaring in Durham.
The Durham Police Department’s first quarter crime report shows youth committed 113 crimes compared to 28 in the first few months of 2022.
“It is incredibly concerning,” DPS school board member Jovonia Lewis said.
And now that the semester’s over, school leaders like Lewis are trying to make sure young people have something to do this summer.
“There are a lot of students out there,” she said. “But without the parents’ awareness of these opportunities, without [the students’] awareness of these opportunities, it’s like they don’t even exist.”
In addition to summer classes, Lewis said the district can help students secure jobs and internships.
There are also opportunities to join camps and programs tailored towards career development and more.
“It needs to be their idea,” Lewis said. “They need to be connected to it. So camp is one opportunity for our kids. But also, when they’re getting older, they want an opportunity to earn money.”
At the Durham Teen Center, Cimarron Reed can help out with that this summer. The Parks & Recreation coordinator said he’s guided young people on their path to finding entry-level jobs.
Reed’s program works with 13 to 18-year-olds, and he said it offers a blend of recreation, work and volunteer opportunities.
“As they tell us what it is that they enjoy or what it is that they want to do, we try to make those things whole so that we can continue to have their attention,” Reed said.
City programs like the Durham Teen Center are free of cost to the members.
“Our young people tend to draw other young people to the program,” Reed said.
To attract more, Lewis is working towards making sure many other opportunities are free or affordable.
“Otherwise, they’re going to find things to do of their own means,” she said. “And we really want to make sure we’re wrapping them with safety and security.”
Check out a list of Durham programs, camps and other opportunities for teens and children this summer.
- Durham Public Schools career exploration camps
- DPS summer activities
- DPS academic enrichment programs
- Durham Parks & Recreation Summer Camps
- List of Durham summer camps
- Durham Teen Center
- POOF Teen Center
- City of Durham Jobs (opportunities available for teens)