A healthy city depends on the strength, engagement, and contributions of all its citizens. To help accomplish this, Seattle Parks and Recreation is committed to building strong communities by providing training, employment, and leadership development opportunities for diverse groups – especially teens, who need the skills necessary to compete in the current job market and help create a solid future for all of us.
Preparing Teens for the World of Work
Helping prep our youth are several Seattle Parks and Recreation programs that provide real-world experience while helping learners making a difference in their communities. These programs teach life and leadership skills as high school participants (ages 14 – 19) collaborate on projects, often of their own design. Some programs pair students with internships before they graduate, which helps not just with critical thinking and technical skills needed for the job market, but with connections to real workplaces. Working toward improving various issues in their communities, participants learn to build relationships with local organizations, mentors, and each other, while having fun and earning a stipend along the way.
Read more about the Student Teen Employment Preparation (STEP); Youth Engaged in Service (YES); Youth Career Training Program (YCTP); and Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) programs
Younger students can also get a jump start on the real world and have fun by applying for Summer of Service (SOS) in middle school. This intensive seasonal program enables teens entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade to learn about issues affecting their communities and collaborate on a project to take action.
Community Service Learning, and Sports!
Service Learning is another skill and personal development opportunity for Seattle teens. From lifeguard training to caring for the urban landscape with the Green Seattle Partnership and the Trails Program, students have a fulfilling experience while earning credits, and find that they can be proud of their work.
For the sports-minded, the Lifeguard Training Team is a free, 8-week summer program that trains and certifies Seattle youth in lifesaving skills. Participants can test for certification at the end of the program, taking the first step towards employment (with the City and elsewhere) as a lifeguard. Also, teens interested in paid work experience during basketball season can apply at a local community center to be part-time scorers and timers on the weekend.
All programs offer participants the chance to gain confidence, learn important skills, and make new connections. Then when it’s time to join the workforce, they are better prepared to step into new situations and meet new challenges head on.