Five members of the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst have jobs as summer interns, thanks to the club’s Career Launch program co-sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Club Director Jennifer Simmons said the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst is grateful for the partnership with PG&E and with the opportunities the Career Launch program has provided.
“More than 20 youth in our Mountain Area started our Career Launch program at the Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst where they learned how to plan for their futures, write resumes, get recommendation letters and tips on how to be successful in an interview,” Simmons said. “We are very proud of our members who are out in the community representing our club.”
The students are receiving minimum wage, and as an incentive to encourage them to save money, each will be given $50 by their employer when they open a bank savings account.
Club member Mikey Simmons, who will be a sophomore at Yosemite High School, went through the program which helped him and other club members learn about jobs and what it takes to get one.
Simmons and four other club members were given internships in Oakhurst after going through a group interview and two individual interviews. He is now working at the Visit Yosemite Madera County Visitors Center (VYMC) on Highway 41.
“I was really excited and honored to be one of the receivers of an internship because out of 300 people who applied for one of the 100 internships, I was selected, so that is awesome,” Simmons said. “This internship sets me up for a great career.”
During his time at the visitor center, Simmons is learning how tourism marketing works and the impact it has for the community and area businesses.
“I have been enjoying my time at the visitors center and thank the team for spending time with me to show me the ropes of tourism marketing, public relations and social media,” Simmons said.
“Mikey has a big future ahead of him as he is bright, capable, and competent ... he has wonderful customer service skills,” said Visit Yosemite Madera County Public Relations Director Therese Williams.
Jessica Star, 15, is working at the Oakhurst Area Chamber of Commerce, and Office Administrator Vivian Shannon says she is a quick learner who is assisting her with many of the daily chores at the chamber.
Star, who will also be a sophomore at YHS, enjoys working at the chamber office although it is completely different than any other job or experience she has had.
Shannon said Star is doing computer work, including keeping the chamber’s membership data base accurate and up to date. She also assists with the weekly chamber newsletter eblasts, and updating the chamber’s calendar at oakhurstcalendar.com.
“When dealing with people on the phone, I’ve learned that you have to treat people like they are right, even if they are not,” Star said. “You have to be positive and quickly provide the information they are looking for because they always seem to be impatient ... sometimes even a little rude.”
Starr said dealing with the public is all about having a positive attitude.
“I enjoy helping people and they are always very appreciative of the help ... and that makes me feel good,” Star said.
“Jessica is always willing to try anything new and she has completed every task we have given her,” Shannon said. “She is incredibly friendly and is good at greeting everyone that comes into the office. This is a special young lady who will go far in her life.”
Katina Fictum is helping at the B&G Club in Oakhurst and is grateful she got involved in the Career Launch program.
“The program helps students prepare for the work world,” Fictum said. “I am learning a lot of things I was not aware of. I love children and I really like working with them at the club. The kids at the club are so good, and its really nice to get hugs from them. They treat me like a good friend they can talk to about things going on in their life.”
Kim Pounds is working at Oakhurst Library.
“The library is a great place to work at,” Pounds said. “I put books away by subject matter after they are tuned back in and I do a lot of filing of DVDs. I love reading so this job is perfect for me because I get to see a wide variety of books that I may be interested in reading.”
Vicki Rosales is interning at Western Sierra Nursery, helping to maintain the flowers and plants and working the front counter.
A 16-year-old who will be a junior at YHS, Rosales credits her job with making her more outgoing and social with people.
“I’m usually the first person the customers come in contact with, so it’s very important to make them feel they are welcomed and that I would be happy to help them.” Rosales said.
Owner Diana Conaway says Vicki is very conscientious about her job.
“She comes in early every morning and makes sure everything is done before she leaves each day,”Conaway said. “She works behind the counter and is very helpful and friendly to all the people that come in. she’s an awesome young lady.”
Details: Boys & Girls Club of Oakhurst, (559) 642-4600, Visit Yosemite Madera County, (559) 683-4636, firstname.lastname@example.org.