Teens ask for jobs to avoid gangs, get hired on the spot

LAGRANGE, Ga. -- An official in the west Georgia city of LaGrange is praising four teenagers for taking the initiative to find jobs instead of succumbing to the pressure to join gangs.

News outlets report that LaGrange Housing Authority CEO Zsa Zsa Heard wrote in a widely shared Facebook post that she hired the 13-year-old and 14-year-old boys on the spot last week when they asked her for a job so they could avoid being approached by gang members.

Heard tells WXIA that the boys had asked her for jobs during prior school breaks last year, but at that time she hadn't understood why.

The teenagers go back to school next week, but Heard says the offer stands for them to do chores for the authority during school breaks. They're also being added to a mentorship program.