Summer Jobs for Youth Program attracts many interested students | New

It was the first day to apply for the Governor’s Youth Summer Jobs Program and more than 400 students from across the island showed up to apply at the Governor’s Complex in Adelup on Monday.

“I think it’s going to be fun, making money and getting the job done,” 14-year-old Vincent Duenas Jr. said. “I’m just going to open a bank account, put the money in it and get some experience doing this job. I might just learn how hard it is to work for myself.

The eager teenager hopes to get a job in public safety with the Guam Police Department or the Guam Fire Department.

His father, Vincent Duenas Sr., said when his son heard about the program, Duenas Jr. pushed him to help him apply and is proud that his son wanted to do something more productive during the summer.

“He’s only 14, but you just have to see how responsible he already is…as a parent, it’s very encouraging to see that,” he said.

The program plans to accept 650 students, ages 14 to 17, to fill various positions in different government agencies such as GFD, Guam Department of Education, and even Guam Memorial Hospital.

Although the event started at 9 a.m., by 7:30 a.m. more than 50 students and their families showed up to apply, reaching nearly 400 applicants by noon.

“We are off to a good start. I think the last few years have been really, really tough, especially for school-aged kids,” said Melanie Brennen, director of the Department of Youth Affairs. “They struggled with social and emotional interaction with their peers, so this is really another opportunity to develop our interaction, relationship and communication skills.”

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Incoming seniors Skyler Umagat and Trisha Leal, both 17, agreed with Brennan’s sentiments and added that the pandemic has not only taken away two years of social interaction, but has also cut short many activities which generally help high school students plan their future endeavors.

“It’s about experience and things to build your character to help you with your future,” Umagat said. “I’m hoping to narrow down my options as I’ve been undecided for a while. I hope this program will help me decide what I really want to do and not waste my time for the future.

For Umagat and Leal, although getting paid for it is a great bonus, they are more after the experience.

“I am delighted to acquire new experiences and skills. I find that really helpful,” Leal said. “I’m excited to talk to people I’ve never met before.”

Umagat hopes to obtain a position in mechanics or nursing. Leal also hopes to go into nursing, but is also interested in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Selected students will receive $10 per hour and the first day of work is scheduled for June 20.

Tuesday is the last day for applications. Interested students can submit their applications from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DYA Kåttan Youth Center located at 228 Teresita Lane, Mangilao, which is behind the main DYA complex.

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