by Lily Lebwohl ’24
The summer can be a fantastic break from many people’s busy lives juggling schoolwork, extracurricular activities and other commitments, so many find it the right time to relax, go to camp or have fun on vacation. However, some students at TLS instead chose to use the summer as an opportunity to continue to work and give back to the community.
Sophomore Lyla Souccar worked with young children through Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara and spent many hours volunteering at a daycare geared toward a day with toddler-aged underprivileged girls volunteering at their daycare.
“A lot of their parents had to work, couldn’t take care of them and couldn’t afford a real daycare,” Souccar said. “It was rewarding seeing them connect with the other girls, and I loved being a part of that. I would play pattycake with them and do really simple stuff, but it was incredible to me how that simple stuff would make such a big difference in their lives.”
Souccar found an opportunity to do community service through a program called Rein Teen Tours. In addition to volunteering with the program, she also spent time touring the west coast of the United States, meeting locals and getting to know the area.
“I wouldn’t say it was difficult to balance having fun and doing community service at the same time because I would feel like I deserved the fun,” Souccar said. “The day was split into two sections: the morning was community service and the afternoon was fun, so it was rewarding, and I felt like I deserved the fun after doing a good deed.”
Additionally, sophomore Andrew Amona worked as a counselor at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack and also spent time with young children for the majority of the day.
“My favorite part of the day being a counselor was at the end of the day when we would gather all the campers, and we would have ice cream,” Amona said. “It was really fun because they were so happy at the end of the day, and it’s just really cute seeing happy campers.”
Students believe that the work they do in the summer throughout high school will help them in the future with any other jobs and career paths they choose to pursue.
“Working in a restaurant really helped me learn how to be in a sophisticated and mature work environment,” junior Holden Werner said. “It does get stressful when everyone comes all over you, and it gets hard at points. You have a lot of stuff on your plate that you’re dealing with, and you don’t want to mess anything up.”
Werner worked for his uncle’s restaurant in the Outer Banks of North Carolina over the summer and practiced living on his own in a trailer and making money for himself. While Werner was there, he made friends through his job, making his experience living on his own more enjoyable.
“Something unexpected I loved about working at a restaurant were my coworkers, especially having to be in the Outer Banks by myself,” Werner said. “I made friends with my coworkers, and I loved talking to them because they were all so sweet. Sometimes when a customer would come in, I would just talk to them too, and I loved interacting with them and also becoming friends with some of the customers.”
Whether it was through working at camp, daycare or a restaurant, students at TLS were able to have fulfilling summers while giving back to the community.