San Juan County helps teens discover job opportunities in the Four Corners

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – It’s no secret that when you’re a teenager in high school, trying to decide what you want to do next is not always easy. So, San Juan County has a program for students to help them navigate that important life decision, and maybe even stay in New Mexico.

Figuring out what career path to take can be challenging, and that was the case for a 12th grader at Aztec High School, Abigail Langlitz.

“I have had like people talk to me about working in office spaces and stuff like that, and I have always been like scared of that idea because like I never had job experience,” Langlitz said.

So she decided to apply to San Juan County’s summer internship program.

Work Force Community Liaison, Liz Galvan, said it helps get students a foot in the door to professional careers.

“This gets the students into the systems for county jobs, municipal, federal and you know they get to try everything and see what they really like doing,” Galvan said.

This summer, Langlitz, has been learning about what it takes to manage a mall.

“It is crazy knowing what goes on behind the scenes and everything, what it takes to like open a store what you have to do and it’s just really interesting for me,” said Abigail. 

Her community mentor, Jennifer Hackney is the general manager for the Animas Valley Mall, she said it’s an opportunity to help shape the next generation of businesswomen. And a way to show young people, that there are plenty of career opportunities in the Four Corners area.

“It opens your eyes and opens your doors to different things that are available in this community that they may not have thought of,” Hackney said.

Galvan added that the program has been successful, and several students have been offered full-time positions after their internship concludes next week.

“We are super excited for them and you know and that’s one of the main goals for this program is to get them into something that they like hopefully full time and it can turn into a career,” said Galvan. 

These internships are funded through a grant from the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Galavn says it’s only the second year of the program and it has already grown so much.