TeenWorks’ Summer Program provides first jobs for many underserved teens including paid work-learn opportunities, college and career exploration, professional skills development, and networking.

Some teens in our programs will be the first in their family to maintain a job or set foot on a college campus.

Help put teens on a positive path toward a life of purpose and self-sufficiency by donating to TeenWorks!

Everybody remembers their first job. No matter how menial or gritty, first jobs are essential for building a work ethic, self-esteem and self-reliance. They’re a first step toward self-discovery and knowing what we want to achieve in life. Check out some of our partners and supporters, sharing about their first jobs:


Sun King Community Development Director

Sun King Community Development Director Ben Shine talks about his first job and how clamato, of all things, plays a part in the story……Watch here:


Indianapolis Mayor

What was your first job?

My first job was working as a lifeguard in my hometown at the Rushville City Pool. It was a great way for me to spend my summer, and allowed me to save up for the school year.

What were the valuable lessons and skills you learned?

For me, lifeguarding was much more than suntans and blowing whistles. It was looking out for others, showing up on time to relieve the guard ahead of me, learning how to save and earn money. These are lessons I have carried throughout my career, in each job that I have held since.

What advice would you give to young people just entering the workforce?

Take each job you have seriously and treat everyone with respect. In all jobs, there are opportunities for growth, to gain skills, and meet new people who can help you as you continue building your career. 



Founder & CEO, NAYR Foundation dba Indianapolis ACE Academy

Ryan, what was your first job?
My first job I ever had was working at Old Navy – Clothing Company. I worked there for 3 ½ years where I started at the bottom of the chart and worked my way up to front line manager.
What were the valuable lessons or tidbits you learned, or that you may have carried with you throughout your career? 
On time is late and late is really late! Being early is 10 mins early.
Did you have a mentor and if yes, how was that person helpful to you?
Yes, my father – he was very supportive and provided developmental support, education and knowledge to be in the workforce. He helped me understand morals and beliefs, work life balance, and the tools needed for success for the future. He developed these ideals through my childhood.
What advice would you give to young people just entering the workforce? 
Entering the workforce as a teen can be life changing. I remember at 16 when I started working at Old Navy. I acquired many valuable lessons I use in my current profession, as a commercial airline pilot. As a teen I always took customer service, leadership skills, and time management for granted, however, I soon realized it was those experiences that created my work ethic today.
Leadership, teamwork, and time management are all related. In order to be a good leader, you must be able to work with a team and understand the concept of time and deadlines. In any industry, I learned being on time was different than I expected. Being on time meant being early and being late meant I would have been on time. This is especially useful in the airline industry from a passenger’s perspective.
When I was younger, I was always intrigued with getting advice from those who were experienced. Therefore, my advice to all the young people entering the workforce is understanding constructive criticism and never lose sight of the goals and dreams you have set for yourself.
I knew at a young age I wanted to be a pilot, but also realized in order to get there I was going to have to work my way up in the workforce. With a lot of perseverance, I was able to pay for schooling by working at the job that I started at in high school!


News Feed

2 weeks ago
Timeline Photos

TeenWorks founder Gene Glick sought to provide opportunities for the underserved -- a mission that continues to this day. Donate now: https://teenworks.org/donate/ #Teen1stJob #OriginalTeenJob

2 weeks ago
Timeline Photos

Commercial airline pilot and TeenWorks board member Ryan Lynch shares his story about his first job: http://ow.ly/I7Su50uwDJY #Teen1stJob #OriginalTeenJob Donate today to support underserved teens ... See more

2 weeks ago
Timeline Photos

Commercial airline pilot and TeenWorks board member Ryan Lynch shares his story about his first job: http://ow.ly/I7Su50uwDJY #Teen1stJob #OriginalTeenJob Donate today to support underserved teens ... See more

3 weeks ago

The TeenWorks staff extended the Memorial Day weekend last Tuesday morning with a fun team-building activity at Topgolf #TeamIndy #TeamMuncie

3 weeks ago

Thousands of teens throughout Indianapolis and Muncie have excelled in our TeenWorks Summer Program. They've gained skills and self-discovery as they've learned how to navigate their first job under ... See more

3 weeks ago
These rough summer jobs can set teens on the path to greatness

Read to find out what Program Director Dominique Franklin says about TeenWorks' Summer Program setting teens on the right course! #TeamIndy #TeamMuncie

Making sandwiches at a deli counter. Picking up trash on a beach.

4 weeks ago
Around Indiana: TeenWorks Summer Program

Check out our TeenWorks leaders on Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick!

TeenWorks offers youth the opportunity to learn important professional development skills through summer and year-round employment, robust college readiness programming and support...

1 month ago

Big congrats to our graduating seniors in Indy! Now onto new and exciting adventures #wedidit #TeamIndy

2 months ago

The results are in! Target Circle voting helped us receive a share of Target's donation. Take a look: https://circle.target.com/cr/results (you must be signed in to see the results)

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