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Summer Job Opportunities for Palo Alto High Schoolers?

Original post made by Palo Alto Teen, Duveneck/St. Francis, on Mar 18, 2007

During the summer, lots of kids find work at places such as Jamba Juice, Spot Pizza, etc.... it seems like the entire working population of Palo Alto teenagers are employed by about 5 different places. Not exciting.

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Comments (26)

2 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 18, 2007 at 9:01 pm

Local companies in Palo Alto offer some internships to high school students during the summer. I know Space Systems Loral offers a few paid-intern positions to students at Gunn.

There are also lots of summer camps that operate in Palo Alto. For example, the YMCA and Camp Galileo. There are also many summer programs that take place on Stanford University. These programs are not affiliated with Stanford, though you can try contacting someone over at Stanford to see which groups are renting dorms from housing services.

The City of Palo Alto also offers a few positions for teens. These jobs are usually in community services department or library department. Check the Human Resources page on the city website. Keep in mind that some of these positions are offered for only internal candidates.

If you're looking for work experience but not pay, try summer programs. Summer Discovery is a private firm that manages programs at many campuses across the nation. Private universities also offer summer sessions to high school students. Browse their websites and see the type of opportunities they have. Keep in mind the applications for these have already begun... and that some have deadlines in the upcoming month. Some of them are expensive but the experience they offer you is worth the expense.

2 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Good Thread

How about 14 and 15 year olds. Many places take 16 year olds and are not interested in anyone younger. Many camps, etc. are willing to pay 16 year olds, but expect the 14 - 15 year olds to work for voluntary service. This may suit some, but there are many who want to work to save up for a car or other "biggie" and really want to work for money. Any ideas for them?

2 people like this
Posted by student
a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 18, 2007 at 10:44 pm

Most places only take 16 yr olds because the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) defines 16 as the basic minimum age for general employment, but 14-15 yr olds can still be hired. In my opinion, 14-15 yr olds do not all have the same level of maturity or modesty and that is why most employers do not hire below 16. There are also certain degrees of liability and safety at hand that employers take into consideration. These are 8th graders and 9th graders... its hard to see the bunch of them in the labor force. Perhaps they could be self-employed if they really need money(ie babysit)?

In my opinion 14-15 yr olds should be using their last 'free' summer to have fun before the pressures of high school take hold.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 19, 2007 at 10:45 am


You raise some good points. However, it is much easier for girls to get babysitting jobs than boys, even if boys wanted them. The old standbys of car washing and lawn mowing are now being done by businesses rather than teenage boys. Having fun and hanging out with friends is the one idea that is tantamount to panic in the eyes of many of us parents as we can see what the dangers of this may arise to.

It is the unstructured free time of summer which can lead an immature teenage boy into getting involved with the wrong crowd. This happens because he is easily lead and wants to act like a big shot. After a while the idea of alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc. seem like a good idea when the boredom of the same old video games and hangouts loose their novelty. Crime then would be a natural follow-on.

I would much rather see a 14 or 15 year old youth usefully employed for at least a short part of the day so they can mix with more mature people and not necessarily hang out with their peers for hours on end in an unsupervised manner.

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Posted by work for PAW?
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 19, 2007 at 11:50 am

not sure if there's an age requirement, but the palo alto weekly is always looking for editorial interns.

Web Link

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Posted by house slave (aka homemaker)
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 19, 2007 at 3:31 pm

Lets not get into stereotypes about teens...

Based upon Parent's statements I guess teenage boys must either work at McDonalds or become pot-smoking, porno-addicted, inebriated criminals. If you're really worried about a teen being bored during the summer it's called summer camp or summer school.

Going into the land of paranoid... Ankle bracelets with a 20 mile radius and GPS tracking are available on ebay for affordable prices. Just joking... I'm sure none of us need to go that far. =)

1 person likes this
Posted by Dr. Ghumman
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 19, 2007 at 7:35 pm

I went to Paly and I remember it was hard to get a good summer job that was challenging at the same time.

We would be able to hire a student or two for a summer position in our Internet retail company, I live in Palo Alto but my company is in Union City. It's a drive over the Dumbarton but it's counter commute so no traffic. We maintain websites so whoever we take on would learn about how things are sold over the internet, specifically pet supplies in our case. They would do internet marketing so excellent experience with the internet would be required.

If interested contact our HR person Jimmy Quita (another Paly grad) at 800-306-7910 ext 283.

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Posted by Erik K.
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 19, 2007 at 8:28 pm

Hi Palo Alto teen,
I work at Homma's Brown Rice Sushi. They'd love to hire another teenager. It's a great gig. It's just a grunt-level job but there'se's no bureaucracy, no busy work, no annoying coworkers to put up with. It's a dive, really, but it's a phenomenal dive. The chef's a genius, and most days, he's the only person you have to deal with, besides customers. Maybe it's your kind of job, maybe it's not, but the number is (650)327-6118. This goes for anyone looking for a part-time job.

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Posted by business
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 19, 2007 at 10:42 pm

I manage an office in Town and Country Village and during the past 15 years we have had only 4 high school students work parttime. We consider the work a good opportunity for students, lots to learn and we enjoy the students enthusiasm. Many times we want to hire a student, but we never know who to call to post a listing and/or how long the posting would be listed. The work study offices rarely have someone answering the phones, and the contacts have obviously changed a bit over the 15 years. We tried to contact the schools (Paly and Gunn) last summer regarding a job listing, but did not get a call back We have hired students posting resumes on Is there a fax number available where jobs openings can be sent to post in the High Schools?

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Posted by Russell Hancock
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 20, 2007 at 9:19 am

Hello! I'm hoping to contact the person who most recently posted, because my 15 year-old son might be a very good fit in your office this summer. He's looking for part-time work, and it's hard to find because he's not yet 16. According to your post, you manage an office in Town & Country. Will you please let me know how we can contact you?

My direct email is and my cell phone is 650-814-3725.


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Posted by Russell Hancock
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 20, 2007 at 9:20 am

Hello! I'm hoping to contact the person who most recently posted, because my 15 year-old son might be a very good fit in your office this summer. He's looking for part-time work, and it's hard to find because he's not yet 16. According to your post, you manage an office in Town & Country. Will you please let me know how we can contact you?

My direct email is and my cell phone is 650-814-3725.


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Posted by Barbara Lancon
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 21, 2007 at 10:43 am

Hi, I coordinate the summer school program for the school district and we are looking to hire high school students for the summer. They would work with our elementary and middle school students in the summer math intervention programs. These are paying positions.
Any student who is interested can contact our Human Resources office at 650-329-3957.

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Posted by SkepticAl
a resident of Ventura
on Mar 21, 2007 at 9:59 pm

Summer jobs! Memories of my local RECORD store - yes, vinyl. Then that brief stint at Crown Books, then the Gap... I learned a lot about what I didn't want to do with the rest of my life, and learned a lot about dealing with people.

One more thing to toss out there - volunteer work. For those whose summer jobs don't fill the hours, or those who are willing to work free, it's a great way to learn other important life lessons while giving something back to the community.

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Posted by Paly Teen
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm

Hello, this is the original poster of the thread coming back... thank you all for your helpful responses! It seems to me that if comments continue to be posted, this might be a good spot for people to find openings and such.

To the person requesting a fax number - I do NOT have an answer, but I DO have a question - what kind of office do you run? Perhaps if you posted some more information here, any kids who happen to flip by will figure out if they are interested.

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Posted by Parent
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 22, 2007 at 10:36 am

House Slave

You could be right, maybe I am just paranoid. But, I would like to know where my son is and who he is with. It is just very difficult now that he is in high school to know who all his friends are. When he was in elementary school it was great, you knew all the kids in the grade and most of their parents. Middle School was a little more tricky but you could still get a "feel" how things were going. High school is very different and because of things like "free" periods and "open campus" as well as the continual change of schedules for various reasons, you do have to put a great deal of trust on your teens shoulders. My daughter finished high school last year and was very open about some of the things she saw her peers doing, most of which she strongly disapproved of. The idea that "everybody" does something is obviously not the truth, but you do hear what goes on that way. My son is very different. Getting information from him about what is happening with his peers and friends is like pulling teeth.

I do not want to be over-protective, but at the same time I want to be cautious. I would love my son to get a summer job even though he won't be 16 until next year. I do want him to continue to value the standards I have tried to instill in him over the years. However, I know that there are dangers out there and 15 year olds are easily pursuaded, particularly if they are bored and looking for something "new". I would rather err on the side of caution and give him something to do that will be beneficial to him in more ways than one.

Summer camps and summer school are not always options. Summer camps for his age are rare and very specialized. Summer school is for those struggling in school. Getting jobs as counsellors for camps is possible if they want to do it as voluntary service, but not for money until they are 16. Getting my son motivated to do something "for free" unless it is a class requirement is unfortunately not on.

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Posted by Mike Langford
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 22, 2007 at 11:02 am

The City of Menlo Park is currently hiring Lifeguards and Swim Instructors to work at the Belle Haven Pool. These jobs pay between $10 and $16.50 an hour depending on qualifications and are available for teens ages 14 and above. This year the City is even offering free certification training for employees (get paid to train!).

Working at the pool is a great way build at teens resume for the future. They will get leadership skills, teaching and communication skills, earn money, stay in shape, and gain respect.

If any teens or adults are interested they should call the City of Menlo Park Community Services Department at 650.330.2200.

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Posted by Dan Smolkin
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 23, 2007 at 4:52 pm

I thought I'd share a couple of places I've found to look for jobs. Try out the Gunn Job Board, there's generally a good list of jobs there, and it will increase as summer approaches. This board is right outside the counselors' offices.

If you have an older child coming home from college for the summer (like my brother) you can have them take a look at Foothill's job board, Web Link . Most jobs, excluding NASA internships, are available to college students.

Also, I am currently looking for a summer job or internship; I am open to working in a wide array of fields. Well, as long as it isn't sales. I'm a early grad senior, and I have had experience in working in several offices (mostly non-profit). If you would like to talk, shoot me an email, .

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Posted by ex PJ
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 3, 2007 at 10:06 am

"Summer school is for those struggling in school." Ouch! That's another stereotype.

In Palo Alto summer school is used by the entire spectrum of students, including over-achievers. In high school it's used by some as a means for getting requirements out of the way so there's room for more AP classes during the school year. In both middle & high school there are students who sign up for fun electives that they might not have time for during the year. And in elementary through high school, summer school is a way to keep intellectually occupied, regardless of a student's ability.

The idea that summer school is purely for remedial purposes is both passe and not a Palo Alto thing.

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Posted by 14 yr old Student
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 22, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Just wondering if there were any summer or school year jobs that would be mostly on weekends for 14-15 year olds. Prefferably in Palo Alto or close by. The only jobs I know of will hire 18 years olds.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 23, 2008 at 8:59 am

Many of the classes offered in summer school for HS are remedial - 8 out of the 18 classes are for kids who got a C or lower in a class.

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Posted by sally
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 1, 2008 at 7:12 pm

i believe every kid above the age 11 should have at least one job that suits their abilities. such as babysitting and so on. preteens are perfectly capable of of completing a job. and most kids have plan for the future and this could be a great start, they can save up for collage or even for a new car. and so i prove my point, preteens are perfectly capable of handling any type of responsibility and they deserve more credit.

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Posted by Kathy
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm

I think this is a great way to share ideas. I too have a 15 year old that will need something stimulating to do this summer. She is interested pet sitting, babysitting, internships with graphics. My contact is Thanks in advance.

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Posted by Cat
a resident of Gunn High School
on Apr 26, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Does anyone know of any Theatre's hiring in the bay area?
For acting, or any sort of assisting in anyway?

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Posted by VampGirl
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I'm currently looking for a job as well. It really is annoying how most people hire only 16 and above... if anyone has any ideas PLEASE tell me!! my contact is any range would be fine as long as it's not sales. Oh and people should give us teenagers more credit... ^^

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Posted by Akansha
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 14, 2015 at 9:49 am

I'm not a resident of Palo Alto (yet) but I'm supposed to move in the first week of May. I just turned 16 so I think I'm eligible to get a summer job.
Problem is, I think I missed most deadlines.
Also, I have absolutely zero job experience (In my country, good luck getting a job that's not under the table before you're 18 and have passed 12th grade.)
I'd be willing to volunteer, since all I really want is something to fill up the summer.
How much of a problem will it be to get a summer or volunteering job?

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Posted by Spark
a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 14, 2015 at 11:26 am

Hmmm. I'm working on a new app informally with some friends, all SV tech types doing other things. It definitely fills a major need. The most experienced of us thinks we should just look around for a kid to do the programming, with some guidance. This is highly speculative, small number of us, if it does well, anyone involved just splits it evenly.

Good idea to involve a HS kid or not? What's the best way? HIre someone or go in informally the way all the adults have (though that relationship has legal implications, too)?

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