Julio Buendia has some good advice for students who are working on job skills: Be persistent and keep trying. It’s a mindset that has worked for him this summer, as he successfully finished his junior year at Sisters High School and began a new job working at Home Depot.

 

Finding the right work environment

In his new job at Home Depot, Buendia is responsible for managing the shopping carts. He collects them from the parking lot and organizes them at the doors of the store. It’s not a small job — on average, 300 carts are used every hour. Keeping up with the high number of carts can be a challenge, but he enjoys the routine and the activity.

Before taking this position at Home Depot, Buendia worked as a cashier at Goodwill. He gained an understanding of the working world while he was there. “I learned a lot of job skills, and it was a good job. But for me, the lines of people could get stressful,” he explained. That experience helped him find a work environment that is a better fit for him. In his new position at Home Depot, managing the carts feels low-stress, even when he is working hard.

 

Building independent skills

“Julio has been very persistent in finding the job he wanted,” said Amy Johnson, Youth Transition Specialist at Sisters High School. Johnson has gotten to know Buendia through the Sisters summer work program, and she admires the positive attitude and leadership he brings to the group.

“Before our program even started, Julio had already brought his resume to several local businesses and had been hired at Home Depot. He has a great work ethic, and he listens to the feedback he gets,” she said. Johnson described Buendia as a thoughtful, friendly person who likes to bring people together. “He has really stepped up as a leader in the group,” she said.

Buendia credits his dad with helping him succeed. “He always encourages me to keep studying, and gives me motivational talks,” he said. His dad helps him structure his days, and together they have created a schedule that keeps him on track. He attends the summer job skills program in the morning and works in the afternoon.

This fall, Buendia plans to keep working as he returns to school for his senior year. After graduation, his goal is to continue building his skills as a transition student. “I want to do well at school and at work. I want to keep learning new things, and get better at my job,” he said.