Something about an impending February break always makes me think of summer. I’ve always been of the opinion that if you can make it to February break, you can make it through March. And if you can make it through March, April break is just around the corner. By the time April break is over, it might as well be summer.
Ridiculous as my logic may be, here at YES, we are already hard at work planning for our Summer Jobs Program. Beverly is securing funding so we can pay our teens, Penny and Brent are calling businesses we’ve never worked with to see if they would consider partnering with YES, and Emily is updating documents and databases to prepare them for the impending summer season.
With summer fast approaching, YES asked Ithaca’s teens what their ideal summer job would be. About half of the teens we spoke with were interested in the kinds of summer jobs you might expect, like being a camp counselor, working at a restaurant, lifeguarding, farming, dog walking, working in retail or scooping ice cream. The other half included a wide variety of activities, from working at a bank, to landscaping, to working at an amusement park. For the most part, Ithaca’s teens want to work during the summer doing the kind of work you’d expect to see teens do during the summer.
But a few really surprised us and thought outside of the box, and even outside of Ithaca.
Here are 3 of the more out-of-the-box responses we heard, and ways those teens could actually get the summer jobs of their dreams…
White House Intern
Sounds crazy, right? This internship actually exists, and is designed to help participants learn more about the Executive Office and develop their leadership skills. Unfortunately for most high schoolers, you must be 18 by the time the internship starts to qualify. If you’re a senior with an interest in civics and government, this internship could be a good option. Click here for more information.
If you're not quite old enough for the White House Internship, but you still think you’d like to spend your summer working for the government and learning about what it takes to lead the country, check out this opportunity, and also take a look at this. Both offer a variety of ways to get into government work as a teen, including being a page for the Senate.
Unfortunately for high school students, Google’s internships are geared toward college students and recent college graduates. The Computer Science Summer Institute is meant for students preparing for their first year of college to study computer science. This program is not paid, but it could be a cool way to build your resume if you hope to go into a computer science field. Check it out here.
For high school students who are interested in coding and working specifically for Google, check out the Google Code-In. This is a global, online contest for teens of any age to learn about open source, complete small open source tasks, and win prizes in the process. It may not be an official job, but if you do well, you could end up winning some money. Check it out.
A Nanny… Like Mary Poppins without the Singing
For a teen with an interest in caring for children locally for the summer, a good starting point could be care.com. On this site, you can post your profile so families can learn more about you before offering you a nanny job. Additionally, you can browse jobs to see what you might qualify for. This site also allows you to offer to care for the elderly, pets, and even do housekeeping. It’s a bit like the “jobs” section of Craigslist, only way less sketchy.
If you’re more interested in being au pair, living abroad and caring for children, you might consider checking out Workaway. This sight is meant to help travelers interested in working connect with hosts and jobs overseas. It is not just for au pairs, but you could certainly find live-in childcare work using this site. One of the best things about this site is that it allows travelers to review their hosts and the jobs they got, so you can see if the person or organization you’ll be working for is legit.
For the rest of Ithaca’s teens -- the more practical and conventional thinkers -- consider working through YES this summer. We offer many of the high demand summer jobs, like working at summer camps, food service, or in retail, but we are also always looking to partner with new businesses and organizations to ensure that all of our teens have a meaningful work experience over the summer. For more information about our Summer Jobs Program, stop by and see us at the Youth Bureau any time, IHS during lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays, LACS at lunch most Wednesdays, and BOCES and New Roots by appointment.