McCallum Internship Program Featured in Local Paper

Publication: Erie Review Date: June 13, 2007

Erie Review – 6/13/07

Working their way through Summer Erie teens may find jobs at home, while others look out of town

By Leslie Wilber Colorado Hometown Newspapers

Tory Hulstrom files, answers phones and inputs data on the computer at the Erie law firm where she works. This summer, she works three eight-hour days each week. But she’s not complaining. It beats feeding calves on her family’s farm.

That’s what her brother, Britt, is doing about 10 minutes away.

Summer job opportunities for teens might not be as evident in Erie as in larger towns, Erie High School principal Steve Payne said. Students who want to work can find jobs, he said.

There are a few obvious employers for teens, like the Safeway or the Dairy Queen, Payne said.

“Some of them work at their parents business or in Old Town,” Payne said. “A lot of the kids are going to the new shopping center on Highway 7. A lot of our kids go to Denver or to Longmont.”

Dairy farmer Rick Hulstrom’s children offer examples of how teens in Erie find jobs.

His oldest daughter works at Coors Field, in Denver, during Rockies home games. Last summer, she worked at an Old Town business.

Britt , 13, doesn’t have far to go after he’s awakened in the morning. He heads outside to fill bottles for almost two dozen calves.

During the day, he might also help repair farm equipment or give injections to a sick calf.

“There’s some farms they let their kids be lazy. I guess I shouldn’t say that,” said Britt, who loads each sentence with impishness. He admits sleeping in one morning a week, his “beauty sleep,” he said. Washing magic-marker sized nipples for the calves’ bottles is the most time consuming task Britt completes daily, he said. The key, he said, is Dawn dish soap.

Rick Hulstrom thinks working is important for kids, he said.

This summer, Tory, 15, is continuing an internship at The McCallum Law Firm. “I have to have something to do over the summer,” Tory said. An interest in law encouraged Tory to take the job, which she found through her father’s contacts.

Patent attorney Jennifer McCallum has hired three local teens to intern at her office in recent years, she said. “(Tory) does a great job,” McCallum said. “I really enjoy working with younger people.” So much so, in fact that McCallum often recommends hiring local teens to other Erie business owners. The idea hasn’t caught on, though, McCallum said. “I understand,” she said. “It’s hard to make that commitment to someone you see as a short-term employee.” Tory’s parents drive her to and from work, so being close to home is key.

As gas prices rise, many teens with longer commutes are looking for more fuel-efficient cars, Payne said. “One little girl I was talking with was living with an aunt for the summer,” so she could be closer to work, Payne said. Since teens often make $7 or $8 hourly, those with longer commutes might spend half their paychecks on gas, Payne said. “It’s huge,” Payne said. “It’s killing them.”

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