Pilot Summer Program Helps Youths ‘Earn and Learn’

October 3, 2017
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Twelve teens went through Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s pilot “Earn and Learn” youth summer employment program. Courtesy photo.

SANTA BARBARA — Twelve local teens brushed up on their job interview skills, improved their resumes and got a lesson in money management over the summer as part of Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s (HACSB) pilot “Earn and Learn” youth summer employment program. More than half of the participants were also able to gain employment and internships for the summer.

The six-week workshop was open to all youth assisted by HACSB and included a variety of classes designed to help students obtain jobs and learn about handling their finances.

Participants learned the difference between debit and credit cards and the importance of managing credit. The teens, ages 15-19, also explored potential careers with panel guests Officer Craig Burleigh, of the Santa Barbara Police Department, and Lynn Houston, a former commercial airline captain.

“It has been an incredibly enriching experience, both for the students and our staff,” said Rob Fredericks, Executive Director and CEO of HACSB. “These are some amazing students and it was inspiring to watch them gain confidence and grow as people over such a short time. These are lessons they’ll always have with them, and we can’t wait to see how they use them.”

Participants were able to gain employment and internships at locations such as the YMCA, the Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art, the LunchBox catering company, Cell Tech cell phone repair, the medical office of Dr. Michael Bordofsky and Kmart.

Among the students was 17-year-old Nicholas Killion, who interned at The Cearnal Collective architect and design firm. As Nicholas met with contractors and interacted with staff, he learned that the field that interests him most is structural engineering.

“I really want to be on the job site,” said Nicholas. A recent Dos Pueblos High School graduate, Nicholas is currently a student at Santa Barbara City College.

Many of the participating students also reported that they had a better understanding of the importance of their social media presence and that they felt more comfortable going into interviews.

Jennifer Shively, owner of Lunchbox, a local catering company, was interested in the Earn and Learn program despite never having an intern before.

“Lunchbox has enjoyed meeting Delaney, our student intern, and working with her once a week on our baking projects and social media campaign,” said Shively. “It has been huge fun to have a younger energy in our kitchen and offer up a small internship showing different aspects of our business. We’re learning as we go what offers the most value to the student but it’s a great experience for us.”

For information on offering an internship or employment, or to support the Earn and Learn program, contact Celia Wright at (805) 897-1099 or cwright@hacsb.org.

About The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara: The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,400 units of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara through a variety of federal, state, local and private funding sources. Please visit the website at www.hacsb.org

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