Local teen finds first job at Teen Job Fair

A teenager reading to younger children.

Emily Kizior loved her first summer job so much, she continued to volunteer once the job ended. Emily got the job through the library’s 2017 Teen Job Fair.

“I wanted to get a summer job, but I really wanted to do something more than just work at a fast-food restaurant or be an office intern,” said the Hinsdale Central High School junior from Westmont.

After talking to employers at the fair, she filled out an application for the Community House in Hinsdale. The nonprofit organization offers community recreation and social services to people of all ages and walks of life in Hinsdale and the surrounding suburbs.

A few weeks later, after her first job interview, Emily was hired as a summer camp counselor for their Willowbrook Corner Program. The program offers education and support programs for at-risk youth of the Willowbrook Corner neighborhood. Located in unincorporated southeast DuPage County, Willowbrook Corner is not served by a municipality or a park district, and as a result, children living there do not have the same opportunities as their fellow classmates.

“The library’s Teen Job Fair offers us a great opportunity to reach teens who are not only looking for summer jobs, but who also enjoy working with kids,” said Rebecca Perkaus, director of the Willowbrook Corner Program. “The teen job fair is a fantastic way for teens to meet employers in their community and to find their first jobs. Having the job fair at the library is less intimidating for most teens.”

Perkaus says the job fair “gives us the opportunity to engage with teens and talk with them about the position prior to them applying to make sure it is the right fit for them.” The Community House has participated in the library’s Teen Job Fair for the last two years.

As a summer camp counselor, Emily assisted in planning and leading activities and games for 40 children in the K-2nd grade group. “Emily was our youngest camp counselor, and she really came out of her shell,” said Perkaus. “She gained skills, showed leadership, and really grew over the summer.”

“Sometimes the kids were rowdy and it was difficult to get them to listen, but the other counselors were more experienced so I learned what to do from them,” said Emily. “I also learned a lot about working in a team. And I worked with people who were different from me so I was exposed to new things.”

Emily’s job ended once school started, but she loved working with the children so much she started volunteering for the program. Emily is now working with kindergarten and first grade children, helping them with homework, reading with them, and participating in planned activities such as recreational games, life skill curriculum, and educational computer games.