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Teens hone job skills as summer volunteers and interns

OCEANSIDE — Dozens of teens are honing their job skills over the summer by working as city volunteers and interns.
The Oceanside Public Library and the Fleet Management Division are just two local entities that are utilizing the extra help.
The library has over 100 teen volunteers helping with book shelving and library programs this summer.
“In the summer there is a huge increase in volunteers,” said Franklin Escobedo, principal librarian of young adult services. “The minute school ends kids head over straight after school and pick up an application. It’s great work experience and a great way to get involved in your community.”
Teens ages 14 to 18 can apply to volunteer. Work hours are based on their availability and library needs.
“Some teens volunteer every day, some volunteer a few times a week, some help with library programs,” Escobedo said. “We’re always happy to take volunteers.”
Summer also brings more pint-sized readers to the library that participates in the summer reading program. Over 1,000 kids participate in the reading program at the Civic Center branch and 800 kids participate at the Mission branch.
“The main focus of summer volunteers is to help with the Children’s Summer Reading Program,” Escobedo said. “Volunteers interact with kids and record children hours. We have a huge influx of kids coming in. Without volunteers we could get overwhelmed.”
There is also training for volunteers in shelving books, pulling holds and processing new books.
“You get to learn how to work with people,” volunteer Anthony Dillard said. “You teach kids how to get on certain (computer) reading programs. Fridays you help with activities for clubs and groups.”
“It’s a lot of fun,” said volunteer Claudia Quinonez. “You’re helping yourself and helping people you volunteer for.”
Another city department that benefits from teen help is the Fleet Management Division. Due to the safety concerns, only one intern is recruited for the summer.
Experts in each area of mechanics work one on one with the intern to show him how to perform tune-ups, change tires, fix electronics and use the online vehicle database.
This year Dylan Hart, 16, and son of fleet supervisor Jeff Hart, is working as an unpaid intern.
“He’s absolutely loving it,” Jeff Hart said. “He wears a uniform, sits in on staff and safety meetings, and feels like part of the team.”