Boys & Girls Club gets its members working
Daniel Rojas has worked at Safeway and in construction with his dad, but no job has been as much fun as the one he has now, he said.The 18 year old Kings Beach resident is one of the first teens to participate in the Boys & Girls Club Teen Employment Program, which seeks to instill leadership and work skills into high school-aged teens. Rojas, who has been a member of the club for many years, is now the games room specialist, organizing pool tournaments, teaching children football and coming up with fun activities.Its fun, said Rojas, or Big D, as his friends call him. I like working with the kids. They make it interesting. You never know what will happen. Its something different every day.Patty Rosales, 16, was also hired through the program to provide homework assistance during the school year and as a camp counselor in the summer. The North Tahoe High School sophomore also worked at Safeway, but enjoys her new job at the club.Its more laid back. Its really fun working with the kids, said Rosales, who has two sisters who also attend the club. I think its good because I can get experience working and have fun at the same time.Mindy Carbajal, program director for the Boys & Girls Club, said thats the point.The goal of our club is to provide opportunities for kids, Carbajal said. Tough-luck kids are the ones working for us. We give them an incentive to stay. It gives them incentives to be involved with the club.To be hired through the program, which started last month, teens are required to complete an employment application, provide references and undergo a background check. Future employees through the program are not required to be members of the club, but are held to the same standards as other employees and get paid. The only difference is that teen employees are mentored once a week by Executive Director Isabelle Rodriguez.Were excited about the program, Carbajal said. Our staff has totally wrapped our arms around them. Its cool to have them on.In addition to the employment program, the club also instituted an intern program for middle school students. Currently, five middle schoolers are working as interns and receive a $50 stipend for every 20 hours worked and a gift certificate for every 10 hours worked. We were mainly looking for bilingual kids, Carbajal said. They are gophers. Whatever we need them to do, they do it and love it.Interns receive shirts and are also required to fill out an application, provide character references and attend an orientation.Its fun because I get to work with a bunch of my friends and its the only job where I can earn money at my age, said 13-year-old Chandler Isaac, who answers phones, checks kids in and out and acts as an assistant. I think its awesome kids my age can do a good job and earn money for it and its not a boring desk job.