Summer Activities for Teens

By Elizabeth Hopper
Friday June 02, 2006

Even though the end of the school year is approaching, it’s not too late for local teenagers to find summer activities. 

In the Bay Area, there are hundreds of organizations offering jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and classes over the summer, but finding one that is enjoyable can seem like a daunting task. There are many resources available to help teens find these opportunities. 

For someone who has never worked before, finding a job is made easier by a variety of programs, books, and websites that help teenagers look for jobs, create resumes, and prepare for interviews. The City of Berkeley’s YouthWorks matches Berkeley residents from age 14-20 with jobs. 

Teens who are interested in YouthWorks can call 981-4970 for more information. For non-Berkeley residents, East Bay Works (www.eastbayworks.org) and Teen 411 (www.teen411.info), which are available to anyone, provide information about job opportunities and job training. 

For teenagers who are nervous about starting a job search, there is a variety of resources that can help. Websites such as Quintessential Careers (www.quintcareers.com/teen_job_strategies.html) and books such as H. Anthony Medley’s Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed offer detailed advice to help teens overcome their nerves before a job interview. 

Other books, including Cindy Pervola’s How to Get a Job if You’re a Teenager and Kathryn K. Troutman’s Creating Your High School Resume help teens find jobs and create resumes. 

In addition to working, teens can also choose an organization to volunteer with over the summer. Volunteering doesn’t have to be boring—in fact, the best way for teens to find a volunteer job can be to look for organizations that match their interests. 

Animal lovers can care for animals at the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society, while avid readers can help younger children play summer reading games at the library. There are literally hundreds of organizations such as these, and they can be found through websites such as Volunteer Match (www.volunteermatch.org), ServeNet (www.servenet.org), and The Volunteer Center (www.helpnow.org). 

High school students also have the opportunity to take classes for college credit over the summer. UC Berkeley allows high school students to take a lower division Cal class. To be eligible, students must have completed 10th grade and have a B average or higher and must pay a $350 enrollment fee and $250 per unit. 

UC Berkeley offers five summer sessions running at different times between May and August. There is still space in many classes, and more information (including a list of classes) can be found at summer.berkeley.edu. 

The Peralta Colleges also offer summer classes for high school students. Berkeley Community College (formerly Vista College) offers classes in subjects ranging from English to Psychology. Each class costs $26 per unit and, for many classes, the credit earned is transferable to both the UC and CSU systems. The program is open to students who have completed 9th grade, and more information can be found by calling the admissions office at 981-2805. 

Trying to find a job, internship, or other summer activity can be a challenging process, but there are a wide variety of resources available for teenagers who want to take the initiative to find them.