Summer work

Participants in Gila County’s Summer Youth Employment program.

Thanks to the county’s Summer Youth Employment program, 36 high school and college students from across Gila County not only gained two months of experience this summer, but paychecks.

Gila County runs the program in partnership with the towns of Payson, Miami, Hayden-Winkelman and Globe.

Arielle O’Connor spent the summer working for Payson. She scanned documents, helped with floodplain documentation for Community Development and worked in the libraries.

“I traveled to all Gila County libraries assisting in summer youth programs and other library tasks,” she said.

Nick Smyers worked at the Young Public School, for Maria Cook at the Gila County attorney’s office and Jacob Miles and Lauren Lopez at the County Health Department.

Dylan Olson and Samuel Benedetto got an up-close look at the Gila County’s Election Department while Michaela Henderson assisted the City of Globe’s economic development director.

“I loved my summer — everyone I worked with was amazing — I learned so much at work; I’m going to college for political science and then law school, my job taught me useful information and experience,” wrote Maria.

“Working in the health department was great,” said Lauren, “during the summer I learned about so many of the services they offer, and was able to work in nearly all of those fields — doing so made me even more certain what I want to achieve in my future.”

The county plans to run the program again next summer.

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