This summer, 15-year-old Tate Delano will build cars, monorails, gondolas and other vehicles using a whole lot of Legos and some basic science.
The Cal High sophomore was hired by Play-Well TEKnologies as an assistant camp instructor to teach children engineering through the use of Legos.
“I used to be a student in the camps but when I turned 14 I wanted to teach the camp classes instead of taking them,” Tate said.“ I enjoy what I do and I believe I am helping younger kids learn about engineering and expand their minds.”
Students like Tate value the benefits of starting work early, especially during the summer.
Some perks of being a teen in the workforce include having job experience that will help in a career, earning extra cash that will help in college, gaining experience that will boost college and job applications and feeling the sense of satisfaction after a hard day’s work.
Tate is just one example of a local teen making the most of summer.
Some recent Cal High graduates also are earning some money this summer before heading off to college.
Cole Steinmetz, who will be a freshman at the University of Colorado at Boulder, is working at as a sales associate. And Joe Pearson, an incoming freshman at Colorado State University, is a door-to-door salesman for Cutco knives and cutlery through Vector Marketing.
“My experience of interacting with customers will help me work better with people later on in my career,” Cole said.
The skills he's learned, such as taking on responsibility and working in a professional environment with others, will be helpful in any career, he added.
Those skills are crucial to gaining employment, especially in an economy that's hit the job market so hard.
“I learned that being professional and respectful to your interviewers really helps getting the job you apply for,” said Joe. "Having confidence in your abilities and knowing how to express your confidence is important as well.”
He visits customers at their homes and educates them about Cutco knives.
Summer internships and volunteering are popular choices among students, too.
Mehul Trivedi, a Cal High senior, interns at the John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, doing clerical work.
“It's not every summer that you can have such a great introduction into the medical field, so it is something I am greatly proud to do,” he said.
Mehul explained that working closely alongside doctors, nurses, technicians and others gives him insight into the inner workings of the hospital and reaffirms his desire to become a doctor.
Cal High graduate Joanne Tse, who will be a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University, is spending her summer playing the flute in the Jenny Lin Youth Summer Music program.
The program was established in 1994 to commemorate a young girl who loved music and was murdered in her Castro Valley home. The Jenny Lin foundation promotes music and child safety.
“We also do a variety of activities such as fundraising and educating the public about child-safety issues,” Joanne said. “My love for music makes my work for the program hardly like work at all.”
Whether it is building with Legos, selling knives or volunteering this summer, one thing is certain: Students who pursue their passion are cool, and having a productive summer is hot.