Pilot Summer Program Helps Youths Earn and Learn

Local businesses offer jobs, internships to teens, ages 15-19


Twelve teens went through the Earn and Learn summer work program. (Courtesy photo)

Twelve local teens brushed up on their job interview skills, improved their resumes and got a lesson in money management over the summer as part of Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara’s (HACSB) pilot Earn and Learn youth summer employment program.

More than half of the participants were able to gain employment and internships for the summer.

The six-week workshop was open to all youth assisted by HACSB and included a variety of classes designed to help students obtain jobs and learn about handling their finances.

Participants learned the difference between debit and credit cards and the importance of managing credit.

The teens, ages 15-19, explored potential careers with panel guests Officer Craig Burleigh, of the Santa Barbara Police Department; and Lynn Houston, a former commercial airline captain.

“It has been an incredibly enriching experience, both for the students and our staff,” said Rob Fredericks, executive director/CEO of HACSB. “These are some amazing students and it was inspiring to watch them gain confidence and grow as people over such a short time.

“These are lessons they’ll always have with them, and we can’t wait to see how they use them.”

Participants were able to gain employment and internships at such places as the YMCA, Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art, LunchBox catering company, Cell Tech cell phone repair, medical office of Dr. Michael Bordofsky, and Kmart.

Among the students was Nicholas Killion, 17, who interned at The Cearnal Collective architect and design firm. As Killion met with contractors and interacted with staff, he learned that the field that interests him most is structural engineering.

“I really want to be on the job site,” said Killion, a recent Dos Pueblos High School graduate, and currently a student at Santa Barbara City College.

Many of the participating students also reported they had a better understanding of the importance of their social media presence and felt more comfortable going into interviews.

Jennifer Shively, owner of Lunchbox, a local catering company, was interested in the Earn and Learn program despite never having an intern before.

“Lunchbox has enjoyed meeting Delaney, our student intern, and working with her once a week on our baking projects and social media campaign,” Shively said.

“It has been huge fun to have a younger energy in our kitchen and offer up a small internship showing different aspects of our business. We’re learning as we go what offers the most value to the student but it’s a great experience for us,” she said.

For information on offering an internship or employment, or to support the Earn and Learn program, contact Celia Wright, 897-1099 or

For more about the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, visit