Working ‘hands on’ with Bridge the Gap

Cyrus Naranjo catches some air, as he comes out of the bowl at the SunUte Skatepark
Cyrus Naranjo does a skateboard trick is called a kickflip at the SunUte Skatepark on Tuesday, July 20.
Noah Box | SU Youth Employment Program
Noah Box | SU Youth Employment Program

Hello, my name is Noah Box and I just started the Youth Employment Program (YEP). YEP is for Southern Ute tribal members who are looking to get a job. When I started, I was told I was working over at the SunUte Community Center (a.k.a “the rec center”). On my first day of working at SunUte, I met Virgil Morgan who told me that I was going to be working with kids.  

The first thing Virgil and I did was to go down to the park to set up kiddie pools for the kids to play in during Bridge the Gap.  When we were finished setting up everything, the kids walked down from the rec and started playing with water guns and a bubble gun. While the kids were playing — one of the kids came up to me and tried to squirt me with the water gun.  I was a little faster than him, but he still ended up getting me a few times. When we finished, I helped put away the equipment like Soccer goals, Kiddie pools, and corn hole.   

When everything was done, we all went up to the SunUte rec and ended up having a little cookout which had things like hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, watermelon, and drinks. The kids and a few other SunUte staff members ate outside. When everything was done, we walked to the Casino, which is about a mile from SunUte, to go bowling. We entered the Casino and all got our temperatures checked. When we entered the bowling alley, the bowling alley staff told us which lane we had and then we got all of our shoes and started bowling.   

When we finished with bowling, we went back over to SunUte and rock climbed a bit. After they got done rock climbing it was 4 p.m. and I checked out of work.  

On my first day, I felt good because I’ve never had a job and now that I have one, I felt really good about it.  

A week later I was told that another staff member was coming in and that he was going to be working with us and the kids. When we got to the SunUte park, I was able to meet the new employee, Cyrus Naranjo. Cyrus and I ended up having a lot in common, mostly about our PS4 games and how we think. We ended up doing the same thing I did for his first day, which I actually thought was cool.   

Once Bridge the Gap ended, we had a lot more time to help other staff and clean the Skatepark daily. We did a goal sheet with SunUte Director Robin Duffy-Wirth, to figure out what we wanted to get out of the summer.  I lift weights daily with Will, SunUte trainer, and I spend time taking photos of Cyrus and photoshopping them.  I also assist any of the SunUte staff member that need my help.  

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