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'Operation Basketball' gives kids a summertime game and the chance to get a summer job

'Operation Basketball' gives kids a summertime game and the chance to get a summer job
'Operation Basketball' gives kids a summertime game and the chance to get a summer job 02:00

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Summer is almost here, and we know, it's a time we typically see more violence in our neighborhoods.

This year, community leaders are helping teens work on their game - and find work at the same time. CBS 2's Asal Rezaei visited some high schools taking part.

With a spike in violence, most recently involving young people in the Loop, community leaders are stepping up to deter kids from the streets.

Bucket after bucket, these kids are taking their best shot at the hoop bus.

"It's cool, because we don't really have things like this," said Jayla Sipp.

And it's something cofounder of Operation Basketball Tim Brennan is trying to change in communities across the city: engaging kids in shooting both hoops and getting a job with businesses or possibly the Chicago Park District.

"We thought that being able to get 1,000 kids in 1,000 jobs was the perfect way to give teens and kids an opportunity to, you know, fill in that idle time," Brennan said.

Positive opportunities that can guide students like Jayla Sipp to a life where she's not constantly living in fear because of violence in the streets.

"Being scared waking up in the morning, like wondering if this might be my last day," said Sipp, a junior at Bowen High School.

With all the violence involving youth in the loop this weekend, organizers said an event like this is the best way to turn kids to the hoops and away from the streets.

The hoop bus has stopped at 13 schools in recent weeks and at least 75 students at each school signed up for jobs.

"We've had kids be like 'I didn't even know I could sign up for these jobs so thank you!' and that makes it all worth it," Brennan said.

"This opportunity gets people to see that there's other things to do besides violence. And come together create violence you can come together and create playfulness, activities, things that can help benefit you," said Pierre Garrett, senior at Bowen High School.

Click here for more information on how you can help Operation Basketball help young people for the summer.

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