President Barack Obama wrote about his first job scooping ice cream at a shop in Honolulu, Hawaii as a teenager in a post on LinkedIn. He said that scooping hard ice cream all day can be tough on the wrists. Obama wrote that while his job scooping ice cream was not glamorous, it taught him many valuable lessons, including the importance of responsibility, hard work, and balancing a job with friends, family, and school.
Obama used the opportunity to promote a new initiative to offer young people their first jobs. The federal government is launching the Summer Opportunity Project, a collaboration that brings together state and local leaders, community organizations, schools, and businesses.
The goal of the project is to help young people find their first job and to help them transition between school years or from high school to college or a career. Obama encouraged employers to offer young people their first job this summer and called on businesses to work with their communities to recruit, train, and mentor young people who are out of school and do not have jobs.
Obama wrote that having a job in the summer and beyond offers valuable opportunities to young people and can bridge the “opportunity gap” that often occurs when young people fall behind in academic achievement after not going to school in the summer. He wrote that some young people get into trouble over the summer when they do not have the structure and supervision they have at school.
Obama said that although he lost his taste for ice cream after eating too many free scoops, he will never forget the job and the people who gave him the opportunity. He said the experience helped him get to where he is today.