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Harvard University Library Notes / September 2006 / No. 1333
Local High-School Students Spend a Summer in HCL
Seven local students who spent the summer in the Harvard College Library (HCL) have wrapped up their library jobs and are headed back to high school. The students, ranging in age from 14 to 18, all attend Cambridge and Boston schools and spent six weeks in libraries and units throughout HCL, performing a wide array of tasks, from filing and answering phones to staffing circulation desks and searching for lost books.
It's all part of the Summer Youth Employment Program (formerly STEP), a program run by Harvard since 2001 that gives these students an early opportunity to experience an office environment. For many of the teenagers, who log 25 to 35 hours a week, it's their first job. The program supplements the real-life work experience with weekly lunch speakers who talk to students both about Harvard and careers.
Sola Ayobiojo, 15, who is a junior this year, served as an assistant for Human Resource Services, filing, answering phones, and helping manage databases. Colleen Trinh, 17 and a senior starting in September, worked for HCL Technical Services, where, in addition to ordering, receiving, and canceling books, she helped read Vietnamese maps. Chloe Favilene, 17 and also an incoming senior, spent her six weeks at Loeb Music helping organize books and doing shelf reading. "I thought it was useful because I got to work in a real work setting, which I've never done before," said Favilene.
This summer marked HCL's third year of involvement with the Summer Youth Employment Program. A learning experience for the students, it also helps HCL units meet staffing needs when many employees are taking summer vacations. Units that take on a student worker for the summer receive special funding from the Librarian's Office.
The 2006 SYEP program participants were: Sola Ayobiojo (supervisor Amy Sprung), Colleen Trinh (supervisors Daryl Boone and Kathy Rutter), Chloe Favilene (supervisor Andrew Wilson), Alex Costa (supervisors Isabel Quintana, Fran Giuffre, Lisa Carper), Jessica Hu (supervisor Grace Wu), Dario Santos (supervisors Helen Repina, Erik Zitser), and Cassandra Medor (supervisor Elizabeth Johnson).