Learn and Earn: Tips for Teens

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Some video includes a young woman in a wheelchair at a soccer game, a young man working on electronics, another young man in a wheelchair at an aircraft manufacturer, and other people in different scenes from school and work. "Learn and Earn: Tips for Teens". A young woman wearing a yellow shirt with black stripes speeds her motorized wheelchair along the sidelines of a soccer game. The ball goes out and she raises her flag.
[Yelling and cheering]
[Susanna] "That was out."
[Lajos] "Good call, Susanna."
[Narrator] Susanna has a cool job.
[Coach] "Step up, step up!"
[Narrator] She loves sports. All sports. 9 00:00:44,006 --> 00:00:46,895 [Susanna] Yes, I'm a very, very big fan of sports. I like football, especially.
[Narrator] So this job is a natural. Susanna's a referee for kid's soccer.
[Ref] "Offsides."
[Susanna] It's always fun to catch them offsides, like, "Yes, I got you!"
[Narrator] She's learning a lot of stuff, too. Like about money.
[Susanna] I didn't know that you actually, seriously had to fill out a tax thing. I was like, I'm only 16, and they're like, well, it's for our records, and you know, legally you do have a job, and I'm like, oh, okay, well whatever.
[Narrator] And Susanna's picking up all those "real world" skills that everybody needs for success...like being on time.
[Susanna] Oh, definitely. You should probably show up a good fifteen minutes, half an hour before the game, just so you can check nets and check equipment and talk with the coaches. I need three feet on the sideline, so I don't kill anybody while I'm going for it.
[Ref] "Keep everybody, like, three yards off the line for her, okay?"
[Coach] "Okay"
[Susanna] I think that it's important that you respect the players and the players should respect you back.
[Narrator] So why is this important? Because: if you're in high school, you're seriously close to being an adult, and it's time to be making some plans.
[Susanna] "Nice game."
[Pam] What am I interested in, what do I like to do, what kinds of things, you know, really get me jiving; and then we try to help them see how what really makes them click is connected to careers, and how they can have their career be something that they really enjoy, instead of just being something that you do to earn money.
[Narrator] And while school is very important, education alone won't cut it in the job market. You'll need some "hands on" experience to jump start your career.
[Joel] It gives you a head start. When you get here, it's not going to take you so long to ramp up that learning curve, you're going to be halfway there, you're going to be ready to go running, you know, from the start.
[Phone rings] [Stuart] "Wanderer's Mail Service."
[Narrator] There are lots of ways to get that running start; your job is to focus on what works best for you, and then map out a path. One way to start is to try job shadowing, where you arrange to visit a business and follow someone around for a day.
[Pam] It's a really great way for them to explore careers, find out if they want to pursue it further; and then the next step would then be for them maybe to do an internship once they get much more focused and narrowed down in their field of choice.
[Narrator] Internships are work-based learning opportunities. They're arranged between schools, employers, and students, and they generally last for one quarter or for the summer. Ali, a student at Mountlake Terrace High School, spent several weeks as a summer intern at Boeing.
[Ali] The reason I especially wanted it is because they work with airplanes, and I was very interested in airplanes, you know, how they make them and fly this huge thing.
Jets are being built at Boeing.
[Narrator] Like other internships, Boeing's program offers planned learning activities and an opportunity to experience work firsthand.
[Stephen] We've looked at bringing students in, doing some manufacturing skills, the blueprints, the tool familiarization; we also are very key on teambuilding, we're key on problem solving; we also start to take academics and relate it to the world of work, which is a very important part.
[Narrator] For Ali, the internship gave him a chance to practice disclosing his disability and asking for accommodations.
[Ali] When first they told me that I'm going to get this internship, I asked them, how would, you know, accommodations, and, you know, how it is for the wheelchair disabled person and they said it's pretty accessible. It's full, you know, of airplanes, and cars can go in that huge company, so yeah, it was pretty accessible. And the people there were very friendly.
[Narrator] Sometimes, internships lead to job offers.
[Steve] Having students come and get excited, and look at the type of things that manufacturing has to offer, that instills that work ethic in them. And they want to come out and do it. I've had managers say, look, I'd like 500 kids just like this one. And this is fantastic. Bring them all in, because they're doing such a wonderful job.
[Narrator] Now, if you're going to be the one they notice, you'll have to make a good impression right from the beginning. Raleigh, an athlete and honor student who has a learning disability, has had a number of successful job interviews.
[Raleigh] Make sure you wear a shirt and tie, or if you don't have a shirt and tie, just make yourself presentable, you know? And always have a positive attitude when you go in to look for a job, you know, make sure you have your resume or whatever with you, you know, with everything in it; and just come at a respectable way to your, you know, your boss man or whoever you're going to see.
[Alarm clock]
[Narrator] Raleigh's a senior at Rogers High School in Spokane. He spent a whole summer getting up at 4:30 in the morning, so that he could get to his job at Agilent Technologies. He says it was definitely worth it.
[Raleigh] It was a pretty fun and cool experience for me, 'cause, for one, I never did anything like that, and I thought it was pretty cool; everybody was, you know, what I'm saying, you know, quite polite to me; and I made a lot of friends and stuff like that.
[Bill] It's a win for the students and for the company. We like to find the best and brightest and have them come work for us during the summers, and hopefully convert them when they graduate, and if they do, then they've already got that summer experience where they can hit the ground running right after they start working for us.
[Narrator] Besides that valuable job experience, you'll also learn some time management skills- something every student can use.
[Tynesha] If it's something I want to do bad enough, I make sure I have time to do it. Like for instance, I wanted to go to school and work. So therefore I worked out a schedule to where I can go to school part time and work part time.
[Pam] Once they're 16, research has shown that students who work about 12 to 15 hours a week actually do better in school, and I think it's because of time management. They don't have from 3 until 9 o'clock at night just to be footloose and fancy free. They have to go to work from say 3:30 to 7, and so when they get home they only have two hours to get their homework done, so they actually sit down and do their homework instead of thinking oh, I'll get to it, I'll get to it, I'll get to it, and then they don't.
[Narrator] So where do you start? The best place is the Career Center at your school, or if there isn't one, then the guidance or counseling center.
[Pam] My advice to students about their career center is, the career information specialist needs to become their best friend.
[Pam] "You will already receive some credit for some of these classes with your internship at Boeing that you did this last summer."
[Narrator] All found his internship through the career center, and that's how Raleigh got his job, too. But you have to use the resources there to make it happen.
[Deb] We get new information all the time, so I suggest they try and stop at least once a month; we have tons of resources they can go through; they can get on the computer; we have different assessments they can take; scholarship information; military; apprenticeship programs; plus I have a lot of information on helping them find a job, what they need to do, how to get together their resumes, things like that.
[Narrator] You can also search the Internet for resources, either at school, at the library, or at home. If you have a disability, you may need an accommodation in order to do your job effectively. Ty, for example, needs to reach files that are over her head.
[Tynesha] Actually, in the interview they didn't say anything at all. They didn't even bring it up at all. It was during the orientation, when she mentioned about high shelves, she said, "We will order you a step stool. But I don't ever, ever, ever, ever want to catch you on a chair." So, and they did, they actually had me a step stool there by my second day of work.
[Narrator] Disclosing your disability is your choice. But if you're going to need an accommodation to get the job done, it's your responsibility to request it. If you're not sure how to talk to an employer about your disability or about accommodations, your school counselor can give you some ideas.
[Pam] That's part of my role, too, not only to educate the employers and the business people about students with disabilities and how to work with them, but to also help students learn how to talk to business people to self-advocate so that they can make those kinds of accommodations available for themselves.
[Narrator] Check out community resources, too. Ty found her first job through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. It was with a theatre group, and she discovered that she loves acting.
[Tynesha] "Showtime!"
[Tynesha] I plan to take some more drama classes and eventually get a master's degree in performance production, 'cause I love to write, and I love to direct things a lot.
[Tynesha] "This is dog."
[Narrator] Right now, Ty is studying to be a sign language interpreter, with plans for a second master's degree in education. Her job at the Hearing, Speech and Deafness Center is giving her some great work experience at the same time.
[Pam] Well, she gets to be here and actually sign with deaf staff, and I think that we've seen really good possibilities.
A young man is dismantling a computer.
[Narrator] Don't forget your parents, either. They may be your best resource. After all, they've been working for years.
[Melinda] What does it mean to be on time for work and what is a lunch hour and how do you take a break and how do you get prepared to talk to your boss about a day off, you have something that you need to do and you can't come in to work...because...it's so important to maintain your job. It's hard to get one, but you also have to work to keep it. And so we talked about that a lot.
[Patrick] My mom always asked, and sometimes I didn't want her help, and she still asked, and we got in some arguments, but in the end it all came out; 'cause whenever I needed help, I could just go, hey mom, help me out. And then she'd help me out. And to this day, she still helps me out with a lot of stuff. It's nice.
Susanna is working the soccer game.
[Players] "Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
[Narrator] If you're willing to listen, you can learn a lot. Susanna's stepdad was a professional soccer player, and he's been a big help.
[Lajos] There are lots of tips, so...I've got a little bit better experience than she has, and I'm trying to do and help her out because it's neat. And everybody wants to do the best, so as a referee, I can tell her what are the tricks, what you should do and what you should not do.
[Narrator] Okay, now it's time to get started. Make your plans, gather your resources, and go. If you'd like a road map, you can use the CAREERS acronym, developed by the DO-IT program at the University of Washington. C is for Careers. Think about what interests you. Be imaginative, then narrow it down.
[Narrator] And remember, it's your life. It's time to start deciding what you want to do with it, and make that happen.
[Tynesha] I suggest you should always reach for your goals. And don't ever let anybody stop you, no matter what. 'Cause you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it.