Students celebrate a summer of hard work
Proud young residents of Wareham enjoyed a meal together outside the Town Hall on Thursday afternoon to celebrate their completion of the Summer Youth program, during which they took part in paid short-term work placements in various town offices and programs.
The Wareham High School students worked at a variety of locations across town, including the Town Hall, the Boys and Girls Club, the Department of Natural Resources, the Wareham Free Library, the Decas School, the Middle School, and the Health Department.
The students interviewed for the jobs at Town Hall and worked under the leadership of Human Resources Director Dorene Allen-England and Town Administrator Derek Sullivan. On a day-to-day basis, the students were directed by Morgan Wahlstrom, who graduated from Bridgewater State University this year.
“This work experience is beneficial for the students because they got to learn new skills within different departments,” said Wahlstrom. “They got to see what they liked and did not like. They also went through the interview process, and most of them have never done it before.”
Students talked about their experiences with the program. Here is what some of them shared:
Marissa Coryer, Class of ’22
Favorite job: Working with the Department of Natural Resources
Coryer decided to apply for the program because she “was looking for something to do.” On the job, she polished her organizational skills and explored some tasks that she did not expect to like, such as filing and organizing library books, cleaning up Onset Beach, and working with kids at the Decas School.
“It is a very nice environment near the water. We cleaned up the beach, we helped with the summer program and helped kids to learn about the environment, which is very nice because it is good to tell kids about the importance of a clean environment,” said Coryer.
Sara Antaya, Class of ’22
Favorite job: Working with the Harbormaster
Antaya joined the program to earn some money for her upcoming class trip to Italy. She enjoyed working with the Harbormaster and found it interesting to see “how you get to work in the ocean.”
Her interview for the Summer Youth program was her first job interview.
“This is my first job ever. The interview was a little scary and I prepared a lot, but Morgan [Wahlstrom] told me how the interview would go and she made me feel a lot better about it,” said Antaya.
Madison Silvia, Class of ’22
Favorite job: Working in Town Clerk’s office
Because she is interested in business and technology, Silvia naturally enjoyed entering data in Excel. By trying out a variety of different jobs, Silvia said she gained maturity and learned about many new career options.
“I probably would have never painted a lamppost,” said Silvia. “I liked that there were many different tasks, and how everyone was around the same age so we all got along and could work together easily.”
Gabrielle Theodore, Class of ’22
Favorite job: Working in the CARE school program
Theodore joined the Summer Youth program because she thought “it was good to help around” and wanted to “help out to do something beautiful.”
Theodore found her niche in the Decas Elementary CARE program, where she helped kids with reading and spelling. She said the kids “fall in love with you in like 30 seconds.”
“You definitely get important life skills,” said Theodore. “You know how to interview for a job, you know how to work with other people, and you know how to work at different jobs that you are not confident with.”
Adrienne Padden, Class of ’22
Favorite job: Working in the Accounting Department
An aspiring accountant, Padden enjoyed working at Town Hall in the Accounting Department where “everybody was very welcoming and very nice.”
Danielle Ansell, Class of ’20
Favorite job: Working with the Harbormaster
Because she is interested in aquaculture, Ansell took the opportunity to ask Harbormaster Garry Buckminster questions about the field, and got his advice about college. She also liked working with the summer camp kids and seeing their faces “light up whenever they picked up an oyster.”
“I learned new skills in punctuality. Morgan [Wahlstrom] had high expectations of us being 30 minutes early,” said Ansell. “I gained a lot of social skills: looking people in the eye, pronouncing myself, making sure that I am seen.”