Teens On The Job

     Do you work at a grocery store, restaurant, or feel like your job is the same as everyone else’s? Some teenagers have jobs that incorporate their hobbies and interests. Take a look at what unique and interesting jobs your peers have for jobs. 

Olivia Mueller:

     Olivia Mueller (‘24) works at Vantage Point Farm which is located in Epsom, New Hampshire. Mueller has been riding horses for seven years. Over the years, she has learned the general responsibilities of working at a barn including how to care and tend to horses. Mueller boards her horse Kali at the barn, so part of her job is to take care of Kali, but she also tends to other horses at the barn. Mueller explains that “there are morning and evening chores. In the morning, I do stalls and clean and fill water buckets, and I feed the horses and bring them out into their fields. And then in the evening, I feed the horses again and bring them inside making sure they have water.” All these chores are a huge part of Mueller’s job. They are definitely not the typical job a teenager might have, and that’s what makes working at the barn so unique and individual to her.

     Horses need to be active and exercise often, so a huge part of Mueller’s job is exercising and training with her horse, Kali. Mueller explains how she and Kali warm up. “I do a good warmup to get her shoulders and neck moving, I do a lot of stretching followed by transitions to warm up her legs. If we’re not jumping, I trot and canter around to get her moving.” It’s not always feeding and exercising the horses though. Mueller also trains and jumps Kali so she performs well when competing at horse shows. “When we’re jumping, it’s pretty intense. There’s a lot of jumping and attempting jumps multiple times until we’re both comfortable and jumping well.” Mueller can jump 1.20 meters (3’11” feet) with Kali.

     Trying to get to the barn each day can be challenging for Mueller because of school and sports, but she still works her schedule and goes to the barn almost every day. For Mueller, riding her horse and helping at the barn is a huge time commitment, especially when caring for so many other horses that each have their own specific needs. For example, it is necessary to keep each horse in shape, feed, groom, ride, and walk them, as well as remembering what each horse’s diet and who goes where. Despite this, Mueller still enjoys the experience and goes on to say that, “it’s really cool to be able to work with a bunch of different horses and get to know each one of them, figuring out what kind of food they need, what supplements they need, and giving each horse their specific diet is really cool.” Mueller is very fond of riding and caring for horses, so to her “working at the barn isn’t just a job, it’s also where I go to learn, ride, and make connections with coaches, other riders, and horses, so that’s what makes it special to me.”

AJ Bellabona:

     AJ Bellabona graduated from Oyster River High School last year with the class of 2021. As Bellabona continues his education, he has also continued creating jewelry for his small business. When Bellabona was in fifth grade, at 12 years old, he got into making his own jewelry. “In one of the classes in middle school, there was a course where we [did] woodworking and there was also medal smithing with that. So that’s how it started and then I got an apprenticeship from there.” Bellabona explains. “It’s a great outlet. I’m really happy to find something I’m passionate about so young and that I really enjoy doing.” Bellabona finding an interest in creating jewelry young really gave him a leg up and already has been very successful in just a few years at a young age. Bellabona goes on to explain that, “the brand was created a few years after I got into it [making jewelry], about four years ago.” Bellabona’s “brand” also known as AJ Made Jewelry or madebyaj, is his company in which he makes, advertises, and sells the jewelry he creates. 

     Bellabona’s business has been very successful and he really enjoys that he’s able to share his work with others. Bellabona explained a bit about his work, specifically regarding his logo: “I’m very dyslexic and I incorporated that into the jewelry I make and the jewelry company itself. In the actual logo, the J is backwards to represent my dyslexia.” Not many people may pick up on the meaning behind Bellabona’s logo, so the logo and dyslexia incorporated into the jewelry also makes it very unique and individual to the business itself.

     As Bellabona continues his jewelry business, he has goals that “in the future, I’d love to be able to make this a full time career. In my opinion this already is my career but of course I’m still limited to going to school. I would also love to try and potentially get my own store and expand throughout the country and be able to have this be my full time career and job.” As Bellabona moves forward with his business and expands, he wishes for others to enjoy his jewelry and wishes to create happiness for others. You can follow Bellabona on instagram @ajmadellc and learn more about the jewelry he creates there. 

Lilly Henderson: 

     Lilly Henderson (‘22) started skiing as soon as she could walk. Skiing has always been a passion of hers, from skiing recreational to alpine racing and everything in between. Two ski seasons ago, Henderson’s family moved their home mountain to Sunday River and she became a ski instructor. Henderson works with young kids and spends most of her days on the magic carpet teaching them how to ski. For most, hanging out with little kids might not seem like the most fun job but for Henderson, “it’s fun to hang out with little kids. They’re energetic and normally happy. I just think [teaching others to ski] incorporates something I love to do, and I’m helping kids enjoy it too.” Henderson normally just teaches kids to turn, stop, and safely make it up the magic carpet, but her job has taught her some other things as well. 

     “Normally, we are on a relatively small flat area off the magic carpet so I teach the kids how to turn and try to make it as fun as possible so they enjoy skiing and get excited about it.” Henderson explains. “I also try to keep the kids from doing pizza (pizza is a skiing term for when you try to slow down or don’t feel super comfortable, so you push the two tips of your skis towards each other, making a pizza shape.) Sometimes that can be hard for them and me, but at the end of the day it makes them a better skier and that’s my job.” 

     Henderson has a lot to teach the kids she works with and each week gets a new group, so for her it’s quite enjoyable and as she explained, “it kinda depends on the day. When I have a good group of kids that are fun and happy to ski it doesn’t feel like working, I’m just hanging out with little kids. But when I sometimes get a kid who has a meltdown and then it feels a little more like work.” Henderson really enjoys her job and since it incorporates skiing, she loves going to work and teaching the little kiddos to ski and watch them improve after each day.

     Mueller, Bellabona, and Henderson, have all taken their hobbies and turned them into jobs. You can do the same. So maybe you have a passion/hobby you’re interested in and can incorporate that into a job. You could look for a job as a coach for your favorite sport, or find a daycare to work with little kids, maybe work at a gym, or small store that interests you. Also creating your own job like Bellabona did. All these are ways you can get your interests involved in your job!