Shadanny Lagunas, Jenny Hoang, Sead Mohammed and Daniel Dynes are four of the more than 30 high school students who worked at ReStores in Portland, Beaverton and Gresham through SummerWorks, a program partially funded by the US Department of Labor. The program teaches students job and career preparedness while allowing them to earn wages for working up to 180 hours.
When Shadanny graduates from Reynolds High School next year, her college plans include studies in the medical field. Before going to work at the Portland ReStore this summer, she already knew about us from her dad who is a frequent shopper. After two months on the job, she learned even more.
“I learned time management, how to prioritize things,” she said about her ReStore experience. “I’m still a teen, but I need to work. My manners are so much better because I work with customers all day. The whole, ‘Have a good day,” I can’t stop saying it no matter where I’m at! It’s a really good environment, I’ll say that. I come, and I’m happy to be here.”
Jenny is also a Reynolds High School senior. She will most likely go out of state to study criminal psychology. For her, the standout thing about The ReStore is the number of daily donations – and how nice people are in the store.
Sixteen-year-old Sead Mohammed of David Douglas High School has known about The ReStore for several years. When he was 13, his family moved into their Habitat for Humanity home here in Portland. When he graduates, he may continue to live there while studying engineering –possibly at PSU.
Daniel Dynes, a junior at Franklin High School is also considering a career in engineering. For him, the SummerWorks experience afforded him more perks than just learning the ins and out of retail.
“I’m honestly surprised at how great the people were,” he said. “It’s a very fun environment. I think a part of it might be it being a non-profit: Your goal is to ultimately help other people.”
Daniel said the most difficult part of the job is keeping on top of the sales so that he can communicate knowledgeably with customers.
Standing at the cash register at the Gresham ReStore, Daniel touches on another valuable aspect of working and volunteering at Habitat ReStores.
“I met Saed working here. We go to different schools. I like working here, too,” he said, “because I get to branch out with who I interact with.”