Summer Jobs & Interships for Teens
Archived Q&A and Reviews
My son is turning 14 in February, and I was thinking to send him to Youth Works in March to get set up for a summer job. I am concerned that he is unmotivated and left alone he would spend the summer in front of his computer for hours (we cannot afford the $500 week day camps!). Is Youth Works a good program for kids that have never held a job and are not particularly motivated or driven to do so? Has anybody had any experience with this program? anon
Just wanted to give a thumbs up on Youth Works. My son did 3 different stints there, one at BUSD, and 2 at City Hall. All were pretty mundane office type jobs, but it gave him work experience and some money in his pocket. Like everything else, persistence is key. They do take into account whether or not you've worked with them before, and will not give you an opportunity if you've just worked with them. All 3 jobs were short term, but they were all flexible in terms of vacations and time off. Mollie
No, your son has to be very motivated. That program has twice the number of applicants that they have positions for. The resume has to look good and should show paid or unpaid experience in either clerical work or work with children. Your son should show some genuine passion for wanting to work and demonstrate why he would be a good choice for the program, no matter how mundane the work might be, such as filing the whole time. In addition he must be available for two interviews and three mandatory 1-3 hour training sessions on weekends, usually called on short notice. (If you can't make it, you're out). From the application to the actual assignment, it is quite a process! These jobs are not just given to students, they basically have to earn them. My daughter worked in this program last winter when she was 14 and she enjoyed it. She is going to apply again right now. This program is a slice of real life work experience. Anonymous
My 16 year old sophomore daughter and I seek a summer internship opportunity for her in the field of law. We have found only very pricy, very short programs, I don't know if you could even call them internships. A couple of them are in D.C. and sponsored by universities. While these seem reputable and like a lot of fun and claim to build a student's college marketability, they don't have a real-world feel. They feel to me like very expensive, one-week summer camps. I would like to hear from parents whose children have attended these summer programs but also from parents whose children have found the more traditional summer internship. How did you find it? How did it benefit your child?
This may not be exactly what your daughter had in mind, but for the last 2 years my son has been volunteering at McCullum Youth Court in Oakland. This is a program designed to keep first-time youth offenders out of the juvenile justice system by providing restorative justice. Teens get to serve on a jury and can train to become attorneys, clerks or bailiffs. My son loves it and has decided to study peace/global studies in college with an ultimate aim of working towards restorative justice. More info at: http://www.youthcourt.org/
My 18-year-old son is looking for a summer job. It could be a retail or restaurant job or as a camp counselor or something like that. He was a TA in his Hebrew school but aside from that he has no work experience. Are there any resources to help teens find summer employment or does anyone know of camps or other summer programs looking to hire a responsible teen for the summer?
If i were you i would check with cities and uc berkeley rec dept and other summer camps about counselor opportunities. His ta work could serve him well. If you would like to stay with the jewish theme check out summer camps at a jcc or at keh tov or the sleep away camp with a jewish theme (cant remember the name...is it camp tawonga?). I believe the camps are starting interviews now or soon so check web sites and call and get the status asap. Get some folks who know of his ta work to be references. Probably will be the best chance for summer work. Ideally he will lead or at least be a full partner in the search. Anon
My high school student who is currently in her junior year is interested in a summer internship in a biology lab. She is a very high achieving student and is interested in studying biology in college. Can anyone recommend local programs at a research lab that might offer summer study positions. Joy
You could try Biotech Partners (website = http://www.biotechpartners.org/). They organize internships for high school juniors, mostly drawn from specific programs at Berkeley High and Oakland Tech. You could also try Project Seed, organized by the American Chemical Society. There is some overlap between these two programs. I would also suggest contacting appropriate departments at UC Berkeley and UCSF or major biotech firms in the area -- they may be able to point you in the direction of internship sponsors. Lastly, you might contact temporary agencies that fill positions at biotech firms, such as Aerotek or Kelly Scientific, to see if they know about any internships or internship-like positions. Good luck!
My 15 year old son, who is moving on to High School next year in Albany REALLY WANTS a part time summer job of any kind. He is extremely computer efficient and creative, however, the ''job'' can be anything. thanks! Jane
Although I can't recommend any positions a great resource to look at is the Youth Service For Change Summer Resource Guide: http://youthserviceforchange.org/summer/rs Youth Service For Change is an up and coming organization run by a 17 year old Berkeley resident, that connects teens with Bay Area non-profits for volunteering opportunities. The resource guide lists a number of organizations which offer free programs to connect teens with employment opportunities as well as a few jobs. In addition it also lists free summer internships some of which are paid. Good luck! Berkeley Mom
My daughters will be looking for summer jobs, before starting their senior year at high school. A headstart seems good, but no leads at present. They live in North Oakland, not driving now but likely by summer. Ideas are welcome! Kevin
How about letting her do the work of figuring out her summer? Sounds like she has some ideas and she should pursue them - the language class, JR lifeguards. That, along w/ her evening and weekend sports activity, sounds like plenty for summer. Then the next summer when she is 16 she'll have some experience to offer a swimming program. In the past, King pool in Berkeley has taken on young people to clean the pool, check the water chemistry, work the snack shack, and then when older they become lifeguards and swimming teachers. Also, boredom isn't always a bad thing and can give us time to figure out what we really want to do. Good luck! In the same boat
Does anyone know of any lifeguard opportunities available in the East Bay for a summer job for a 17-year old? Thank you! Sally
The Berkeley YMCA often advertises jobs for lifeguards. That would be a good place to start. You could also check Strawberry Canyon and the other UC Berkeley pools (although they may have already completed their hiring for the summer). I believe the city pools (such as King pool) hire earlier in the spring, but it never hurts to ask. Also keep checking the want ads in the Daily Planet and the Daily Cal. Frances
Try the city of Berkeley. My daughter has taught swim lessons and lifeguarded at different Berkeley pools for the past 2 summers. Mary
March 2001 My 17 year old daughter wants to work this Summer, but not in a camp or rec. environment. Does anyone know of a place where she can look for jobs in retail or a small office situation? It would be good if she could find work in Berkeley or Oakland or even in SF if it were close to BART. Thanks, Mary
Many retail stores on Fourth Street seem always to be hiring sales staff. I know a couple of high school students who have found summer jobs on down here. Perhaps your daughter could walk down the block and check out the situation. Good luck! Suzanne
REI is always hiring cashiers. -- Toby
- Berkeley Public Library Programs - In addition to the volunteer suggestions (see below) the Berkeley Public Library hires five high school students annually for part time work. The job is posted in August and, if interested, your student should check the library for applications. Librarian Francisca Goldsmith also suggested students check out the following activities for this summer. (May/June 1999 BHS PTSA Newsletter)
- Census Taker - Seniors: Looking for a job? Call Valerie Healy at 486-5369 to find out about working as a census taker. It pays well. (from the BHS daily bulletin 2/00)
- Childcare - Last summer I was able to get my daughter a job at her younger sister's preschool which was wonderful, but I know this would have been impossible if I had not know this school for so many years. -- Lynn (3/00)
- City of Berkeley Youth Works program - The Youth Works program still exists but will offer competitive positions, mostly for ages 16 years and older. These jobs are the private sector component which prefers more work-ready clients. The program runs year round. Summer applications will be availabe 5/1. Kids 16 and older are invited to participate. They should go to the Youth Works office for an application and readiness assessment. Youth Works has a website located at: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/hhs/commsvc/youth/youth.html
Youth Works 2055 Center Street Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 883-6508 Telephone (510) 644-7731 Fax (510) 644-6915 TDD Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Counselor in Training - see Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Programs
- Jewish Vocational Services - The Avodah program of Jewish Vocational Service in San Francisco is now welcoming applications for its second year of paid summer internships for Jewish teens. Avodah interns work four days a week in various Jewish community agencies and meet one day a week as a group for a professional and personal development seminar. Participants will receive a $900 stipend for participation in the six week summer program. The Avodah program is a project of JVS, funded by a grant from the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties and is supported by a grant from the Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Federation of the Greater East Bay. The program is open to students living in these regions. In addition to the summer programming, Avodah (Hebrew for work) is sponsoring a variety of workshops and events to help teens develop workplace skills and experiences such as a Career and Job Skills Fair on Jan 9, a Summer Jobs and Activities Fair on March 12, and several summer job workshops to be held during the spring season. Please contact Jenni Mangel at JVS at(415) 782-6223 or jmangel [at] jvs.org for further information. -- Deborah (Jan 2000)