Activities for Teenagers

Elizabeth Hopper, Special to the Planet
Tuesday September 05, 2006

Even though summer vacation is over and the school year is here, there are many opportunities for local teenagers to find jobs and volunteer activities. 

In the Bay Area, there are hundreds of organizations offering jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and classes, but finding one that is actually enjoyable can seem like a daunting task. However, 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 ages 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’s 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. 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). 

Trying to find a job, internship, or other 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.