From the editor: Fifteen high school aged teenagers were recognized recently by U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden garrison commander Col. David W. Mayfield, for their work as part of this year's Summer Hire program.
The program is an excellent opportunity to positively influence youth in our community, foster good work ethic through experience, and promote responsibility in preparation for future education and career goals.
In a recent all-hands workforce meeting held on Lower Hainerberg, Mayfield commented on the experience and talent across the Garrison’s workforce and spoke of meeting a current postal manager, who gained valuable postal experience as a one-time summer hire participant in the past.
This year's 6-week program spanned from June 21 to July 29, 2022. Alongside other garrison directorate offices, the Public Affairs Office participated in hosting a summer hire. We'd like to share her experience, in her words.
WIESBADEN, Germany – I’m Maya Roberson, a rising senior at Wiesbaden High School. For six weeks this summer I was a federal employee.
After applying to the Summer Hire program in April, I learned in May that I was given a position. I was assigned the role of office clerk at the Public Affairs Office. In my application, I had expressed my interest in various aspects of the business field, from management and marketing to public relations and advertising, so I was excited that my position was in line with my interests.
I worked 40 hours a week at $7.25 per hour (not too bad), so by all means this experience checks every element of a job. However, I view my time at the Public Affairs Office as a paid internship.
Thomas Schulze, manager of the USAG Wiesbaden Workforce Development Program, believes that the Summer Hire program is “(…) a perfect opportunity for young students to gain work experience.”
“We as a garrison are very happy to get such interest in the program, and maybe this could be a good start to a career in the government for some of the youth participating,” said Schulze.
During my time at the PAO I was able to gain valuable work experience in a field that I am interested in, as well as the chance to enrich my current skillsets. Furthermore, I was able to connect with my community on a larger scale, beyond my high school and with the entire military-affiliated network.
In addition to working at the PAO, I shadowed individuals working at American Forces Network (AFN radio). I created and recorded radio spots (public service announcements) for organizations in the community requesting publicity for an event they would host.
One of the spots I created, to my surprise, was played on the radio.
I had the opportunity to take pictures at many events, including the 7th Combat Weather Squadron’s Change of Command Ceremony and the German-American Friendship Fest. I was able to participate in a recorded town hall and edit the footage for the community to see.
Of course, I did complete more mundane tasks including website scrubs – searching and annotating errors on the Garrison Wiesbaden site for correction. And what’s an office job without stapling and filing papers? I did a bit of that too.
There were some challenges us summer hires in clerical positions had to overcome, predominantly not being able to access Department of Defense networks and systems.
While this is a work-related issue, Schulze believes the program can be improved in another aspect. He suggests that, “We should think about giving youth more benefits in the program — how to write a résumé, how to talk to supervisors, how to take responsibility. We can improve beyond working and provide the youth with more practical knowledge in their six weeks.”
While living abroad, opportunities like this internship are limited for students, so I am very thankful that my parents urged me to apply. Apart from the skills I have developed, I have made lifelong connections, and have an additional edge towards college applications.
I was taught valuable lessons from my supervisors and became comfortable with putting myself in uncomfortable situations, because that’s how you grow.
The six weeks I spent at the PAO will forever be meaningful to me.
Roberson and her fellow summer hires were all recognized for their work and participation in the Summer Hire program this year: Jackson Butcke, Sean Cole, Marcos Cruz, Nicolas Elliot, Sophia Fausterman, Samantha Garcia, Erin Goodman, Josiah Gonzales, Trennan Henriquez, Ava Kryway, Calvin Lex, Aidan Sweney, Jayden Terrel Weeks, Maria Valdez.
They were each awarded a certificate signed and presented by the Garrison Commander for their six weeks working as members of Garrison Wiesbaden's workforce.