At the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club, excited 4th, 5th, and 6th graders get a crash course in leadership and career development through our Junior Staff program. What’s even more impressive about this program? To the kids, participating in the Junior Staff program is the cool thing to do!
Before “getting hired” as a Junior Staff, Club members must submit an application (a 75-word essay on why they want to be a Junior Staff Member) and complete an interview, where they’re asked questions like “what do you expect to gain from being a Junior Staff Member?” and “what skills can you bring to the program?” Once accepted (all of them are), the kids join the enviable ranks of Junior Staff and get their photo on the Junior Staff board.
Each week, Program Director Denise Lewis posts a shift schedule (limited to two shifts per week) with tasks like running the Club store, serving food to other kids, helping younger kids with homework, and helping staff at the front desk.
Selling snacks to other kids at the store is the most popular shift among the middle schoolers. “I get to learn what it’s like to run a store,” said one Junior Staff member. In the store, kids learn about managing inventory and doing transactions.
Junior Staff Members also love this program because they get to help other kids, learn how to run a business, and get special privileges like extra snacks and access to areas other kids can’t go.
With 24 Junior Staff Members right now, this leadership development program has kids excited to show up and learn valuable skills alongside their peers.