After giving the State of the City address hours earlier, Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 3 City Commissioner Robert Stuart appeared at a meeting of the Opportunity Jobs Academy at Edgewater High School and passed some of their wisdom about job skills onto high school seniors.
Dyer said the initiative was important to him because it helped kids learn important skills for the real world, such as interviewing for jobs.
Addressing the students, Stuart said they should be excited to learn transferable skills – skills they could take with them and apply to any number of life events and trials and then hopefully bring back to the city to work here as adults.
“I never expected to be a city commissioner,” he said. “But I used skills I had acquired along the way.”
He urged the students to become active in clubs or groups that could help them get skills they could apply in all areas of life.
Edgewater High School senior Christian Ortiz, a part of the Opportunity Jobs Academy, said he got his first job because of the group – at Tijuana Flats.
As he wants to be a restaurant manager when he grows up, Ortiz said the job has been valuable to him.
“I’m learning that a restaurant takes a lot of people to own and manage,” he said. “My dream would be to become a world-famous pizza maker. Like Chef Boyardee-type famous.”
From the Opportunity Jobs Academy, Ortiz said he learned some harsh truths about the real world’s job market.
“I learned that you have to put yourself out there when applying for a job,” he said. “You can’t be shy.”