Next One Up Program brings Baltimore Teens to work in OC ahead of college
OCEAN CITY, Md- Young Adults from Baltimore are getting the chance to work in Ocean City, learn life skills, and live together thanks to the Next One Up program.
“It feels really good to have that responsibility it’s something new completely new I’ve never done it before but it’s exciting for me to have experienced,” said Aaqil Briggs, who is working at Blue Bimini Boat Services this summer.
Students say they have a strict schedule with lots of structure and life lessons from the leader Brandon Julot to stay on track.
“We wake up around 6 pm and do exercise and strength conditioning after we are done we have enrichment or we got go to work and after the work day we have enrichment and learning,” said Next One Up participant Kennel Washington.
The enrichment classes are taught by organizer Bradon Julot, who teaches the students how to draft a roommate agreement, manage finances, and plan for success.
“Through my high school career I never got thought budgeting and how to spend your money wisely and really know what do to with your money when you get it not spend it on reckless stuff,” said student and Trimper’s rides employee Braeden Hammett.
Businesses say the partnership was a great fit, especially given the worker shortage across the beachfront community, and were happy to expand the program building on last summer’s success.
“Honestly we were blown away by the employees we got in addition to them being great workers there were just great people after last summer we got texts about how they learned a ton,” said Blue Bimini Owner Stephen Butz.
The program helps to bridge the gap for affordable housing, as the student’s dorm-style housing is fully subsidized through the program.
“It can be quite difficult to find housing here in Ocean City so we make sure to have affordable housing so they can not just enjoy their employment but the area around them as well,” said Trimper’s Rides Media Director Jessica Bauer.
Butz tells us it’s been rewarding for him to watch students like Briggs come into their own with new responsibilities and skills working on the OC Bay Hopper.
“To see him learn new skills learn how to cleat the boat and be excited when he learns these things and puts them to use there is nothing better,” he said.