Nineteen-year-old Madison Shoemaker, a Northeastern State University sophomore from Muskogee and former member of the Cherokee National Youth Choir, found a summer job working with Zomac School of Music in Muskogee through a Cherokee Nation Youth Employment program. This is her second year in the tribe’s summer youth work program, and she uses her income to pay tuition costs of summer classes.
“My primary goal at work is to be a support staff and a customer service representative, and I’ve really had to learn a lot about the industry,” Shoemaker said. “I talk with dealers and corporations, and I feel like this experience has really helped me grow as a person and prepared me to have my own business. While I want to be a doctor and I hope to work for the Cherokee Nation, I eventually want to have my own practice. I’ve learned things in the summer youth program that have given me the tools I’ll need to do that.”
The Cherokee Nation has helped Cherokee youth earn a collective $1.6 million in potential summer wages.
The Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Employment Program placed 726 Native youth in jobs in June and July, helping them gain valuable work experience and income for high school, college and other needs.
The program, administered by the tribe’s Career Services department, helped 726 youth, ages 16 to 24, work 40 hours a week for eight weeks when the program wraps up on July 28.
Each earns $7.25 per hour for a total potential income of $2,320 each, and a collective $1.6 million in summer wages.
In recent years, the Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Employment Program has connected an average of nearly 690 participants each summer to job opportunities in northeastern Oklahoma.
For more information on the annual Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Employment Program, call 918-453-5555. Learn more about Cherokee Nation Career Services online at http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Career.