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Rec program gives teens behind-the-scenes look at local businesses
Teens in Action program participants visit the Turlock Fire Department. - photo by Photo Contributed

Nineteen local teens recently wrapped up a program where they explored career options with a behind-the-scenes look at many fields of work.

Teens in Action is a Turlock Recreation program which gives high school juniors and seniors the chance to see the daily operations of many local companies. The goal of the program is to keep teens in the Turlock area for college, or to draw them back to the area for career opportunities after college.

“We want them to come back and work here, and to raise families here when they reach that stage,” said Karen Packwood, Recreation supervisor with the City of Turlock.

Packwood said the program was similar to Leadership Turlock, a program where Turlock professionals learn more about local businesses and industries. The students had a competitive application process which included an in-person interview. Accepted students met once a month to learn about a local business. Activities included a tour of Gallo Winery, a healthcare day, and VIP tours of Frito-lay.

“We want to open their eyes to the different businesses within one business. There are a whole slew of careers in larger local companies,” Packwood said.

Natalie Dykezeul, a graduating senior who participated in Teens in Action two years ago, said she enjoyed the experience.

“You think that you want to go into one field, but realistically there are so many other options that you never considered,” Dykezeul said.

The senior is graduating in a few weeks and will attend Santa Clara University. She said she wants to go into the medical field, and one of her favorite Teens in Action events was healthcare day.

“It solidified my decision,” Dykzeul said.

Teens in Action will not be offered for the coming school year. Packwood said the program is going on a one-year hiatus while Turlock Recreation restructures the program.

“We received a lot of feedback from the participants that they thought Teens in Action should meet more than once a month. They really seemed to enjoy it,” Packwood said.

Information about the next Teens in Action program will be available in spring 2012. For more information about other teen programming, visit the Turlock Recreation Division website at

To contact Andrea Goodwin e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2003.