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Graffiti Abatement Program Priming Teens For The Workforce

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sophomore Porter Grant spends his weekend mornings with a paint roller in hand.

“I really love it because we help out the community around Sacramento,” Grant said.

Rain or shine, every Saturday and Sunday.

“We are in every single neighborhood in this city,” said crew supervisor Brian Strong.

The teens are trying to get to as many problem areas as possible, painting over tagged walls and scraping off stickers.

“They report the graffiti, [then] myself and a counterpart go out … We make determination if we do it or the property owner has to remove it,” Strong said.

Grant is one of several high school students hired by the City of Sacramento as part of the graffiti abatement crew.

“They make a little money, they learn responsibility in terms of coming to work and they get out of their neighborhoods, and get to see a little bit of the city,” Strong said.

And it’s not always the best neighborhoods.

“You’re coming back to the same corner, the same area time and time again,” Strong said.

With more than 3,000 graffiti complaint calls logged each year, they do their best with a minimal amount of resources.

But, the kids are learning valuable lessons while earning a paycheck.

“It introduces them to a sense of ownership,” Strong said.

Not only does the fresh paint offer a more welcoming sight in the city, it primes the teens with a good foundation once they enter the workforce.

“It feels really good knowing I’m making a difference for everybody,” Grant said.

Find more information about the City of Sacramento’s graffiti abatement program on their website.

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