Franklin Teens Use Summer Break to the Fullest
By Avery Chalk
As college applications loom, the freedom of summer provides the perfect opportunity for high school students to fill their time with productive activities. With no exams to study for or homework to catch up on, teenagers find themselves with nothing but time to find their place within the community - and are taking it in stride. Here are some ventures that Franklin teenagers have participated in to make the most of their school vacations:
Summer internships, whether paid or unpaid, are a great way for teenagers to dip their toes into specific fields of potential interest. Not only do they cultivate valuable skills in time management and responsibility, but they build the experience necessary for teenagers to ultimately succeed in professional environments. Internships provide a taste of the “real world” to high school students before they embark on higher level education and/or the workforce.
Georgia Harvey is quite well versed in the value that internships offer, having interned at Boston Pain Care in Waltham, Massachusetts over the summer. As a rising senior at Franklin High School with an avid interest in medicine, Harvey claims that her shadowing position has been invaluable in learning about, “the inner works of the medical field and exposure to different occupations.” Unmistakably, internships are useful for increasing skill sets and learning about various areas of work. They are also a good addition to any resume or application. Knowing this, admissions officers and employers certainly value the time that teenagers devote to their summer positions. However, according to Harvey, the experience gained outweighs simply the title of having been involved. “While the value an internship adds to the resume is nice, I don’t think it outweighs the professional experience that you obtain from participation in an internship,” she explains.
2. Volunteer work
Volunteering has become increasingly important in a post-COVID world. There are a multitude of ways that teenagers have given back to the Franklin community, whether as a continuation of an organization, or on their own time. Sara Bryan, a recent graduate of Franklin High School and volunteer for the Franklin Public Library, is just one example of a student who has continued her volunteer work over the summer. As a library aid, her duties include shelving books and assisting in youth activities. Like Harvey, Bryan admits that there is inevitable value in demonstrating volunteer work to schools, saying it “shows devotion to your community which helps give you a leg up on applications.” However, Bryan says that she volunteers primarily because she enjoys giving back. “Volunteering brings the community together while simultaneously uplifting it,” Bryan explains. “There is a difference between living in Franklin and being a part of Franklin.”
3. Summer jobs
A staple aspect of the teenage experience, part-time jobs are accessible ways for high schoolers to make money and learn how to manage it. From behind a cashier counter to perched on a lifeguard stand, countless high school students are contributing their time to ensure the smooth operation of these places of work. Particularly in Franklin, where familiar faces and small businesses dot the local community, summer jobs benefit not only the teenage employees themselves but employers seeking temporary staffing. A prime example of this is Louie Barbato, who co-heads a company in Franklin that provides hardscape and landscape services. By choosing to hire teenage help, Barbato says that he offers highschoolers “the opportunity to pursue a career path that is different from the traditional college route.” As a locally based business, Barbato also values the neighborhood culture of summer workers. “[Working in Franklin] gives the kids an opportunity to work for local customers and gives them an overall sense of helping the community they live in,” Barbato finishes.
Whether it be in hopes of gaining experience, improving college applications, or simply helping those in need, Franklin teenagers have demonstrated that there is tremendous value in extending past the conventional relaxations of summer. As the school year approaches, high school students will continue to involve themselves in various activities and thus, continue to make their mark on Franklin.