FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- High school students are preparing for real-world career experiences through the new Hired! Apprenticeship Program on Fort Sam Houston.

The program provides teens, 15 to 18 years old, practice with resume writing, interviewing and job-site skills in Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation operations and other organizations.
"Someone at the Youth Center handed me a flyer; I signed on (to the program) because it sounded like it would be a fun experience," said 17-year-old Joe Kauffman.

"When I found out I was going to be working over at marketing, I thought, 'Wow, that's going to be pretty interesting,' Kauffman said.

"I signed up for the second time because it was a pretty fun experience, so I started working here (at the Middle School and Teen Center)."

Kauffman plans to sign up for a third term to continue working at the Middle School and Teen Center. When he turns 18, he wants to get a job at the center.

"We find out what career field the kids are interested in and try to match them up with that facility, said Jessica Castillo, Child, Youth & School Services workforce prep specialist.

"Someone from the facility comes in and actually interviews them. It's a whole real-world experience.

"They have to prepare resumes, prepare for the interview and go through the interview process," she explained.

Seventeen-year-old Jesse Cavalier started his second term working as a cook at the Sam Houston Club.

"I like it," he said. "I thought it would be good to join the Hired! Program to get the experience; I chose to work at the club because I really like to cook."

"I think it's a great program," said Manuel Valdez, manager of the Sam Houston Club. "If we can help young people get into a field of work that they like; I think that's a great opportunity. I have never seen a program like this on post before."

During the first term of the Hired! program, three students worked at the Sam Houston Club in the ticket office, catering and in the kitchen.

"Ever since I interviewed Jesse, he knew what he wanted to do," Valdez said.

"The first term we had 19 apprentices but once school started it went down a little bit," Castillo said.

The apprentices are required to work at least 15 hours per week and must accumulate 180 hours by the end of the term to be eligible for the $500 award from Kansas State University.

The current term runs through April 3 and the next term will begin April 5.

Students can participate in two terms per calendar year.

To qualify for the program the children must be a U.S. citizen between 15 and 18 years old; a Family member of an active duty, reserve, retiree, or DoD civilian or DoD contractor; must be registered with Child, Youth & School Services; and have and maintain a 2.0 grade point average through the duration of the program.

The program is open to students from all school districts.

Some of the facilities participating in the program include the Sam Houston Club, the Golf Club, the MWR Marketing Department, the teen centers, School Age Services, the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center, Keith A. Campbell Library, FSH Fire Department, Bowling Center, the Edge Program, the Child Development Center and the Harlequin Dinner Theatre.

Other facilities on Fort Sam Houston can also participate in the program.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16