Youth experience real work force, gain valuable skills

Base Info
Joy Nakasaki cleans a cat kennel on Aug. 14, while working at the Camp Zama Kennels as a part of the Camp Zama Summer Hire Program. Nakasaki's job includes cleaning the kennels, feeding the animals, and giving them water daily. (U.S. Army photo by Candateshia Pafford)
Joy Nakasaki cleans a cat kennel on Aug. 14, while working at the Camp Zama Kennels as a part of the Camp Zama Summer Hire Program. Nakasaki's job includes cleaning the kennels, feeding the animals, and giving them water daily. (U.S. Army photo by Candateshia Pafford)

Youth experience real work force, gain valuable skills

by: Dominique Watkins | .
USAGJ Public Affairs | .
published: August 18, 2014

CAMP ZAMA - "I wanted to do (the) summer hire program so I could stop asking my parents for money," said Megan Nardone.

Nardone, along with several others youth members from the ages of 14 to 20, participated in the Camp Zama Summer Hire Program. The Summer Hire Program began on July 13 and will continue until the new school year begins.

Crissy Baker, an employee for Camp Zama's Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, said the SHP is available so youth members can gain some type of job influence, especially those members who are about to go to college.

The SHP prepares youth members to be young adults, said Baker. "It teaches them responsibilities."

While working at the Camp Zama Pass Office, Nardone said she is given the opportunity to talk with the different customers that come in and out of the office, and basically socializing daily has helped her learn a lot of things that she didn't know.

"I am learning every day, and I get to meet new people."

Sarah Muse, another Camp Zama CPAC employee, said the SHP is designed to start training the younger generation by giving them experience in a work force environment.

"When we meet people, we connect with people," said Muse. A lot of the SHP youth members work in the customer service fields, but not all of them, she continued.

One member, Joy Nakasaki, works with the Camp Zama Kennels and helps tend to the boarded animals by feeding them, giving them water, and keeping their kennels clean.

"I expected to… do a fair amount of labor," said Nakasaki.

There are many "permanent change of station" animals at the kennels, and people who are coming to and leaving the installation need their pets to be taken care of. "We are that place."

"All the pets have different personalities," said Nakasaki, and working at the Kennels is a good learning experience.

To be responsible for different things, whether it be coming to work on time, or being placed in charge of something, like providing customer service, Muse said responsibilities are the most important thing that the SHP will provide to the youth members.

Baker said the overall experience will not be to earn money, but for the youth members to gain some type of ideal of possibilities of what they would like to do in their future.

"Whether they want to be federal employees or if they want to do something else," said Baker.

The SHP is "kind of like a stepping stone into the real world and work experience," said Nakasaki.

Tags: Camp Zama, Base Info
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