Remember the summer jobs of your youth, when you first found out what work was really like — some drudgery, some satisfaction, a paycheck! According to interim Secretary of Education John King, far fewer Americans in the future will have this right-of-passage summer job experience to look back on. King says that America has seen a 40% drop in summer jobs in the last 12 years.
So President Barack Obama is breaking out the ice cream — or at least tales of his own ice cream scooping experience. In an essay for LinkedIn, Obama talks about what his first summer job — scooping the strawberry at Baskin-Robbins — taught him about work. And while he didn’t link the frozen treat directly to the presidency, Obama does give the experience credit for helping him on his path to success. Obama is scooping up his own personal story to put a human face on the importance that this endangered species, the summer job, has long played in giving youth a foothold in entering adulthood and the workforce. The Obama administration is promoting its Summer Opportunity Project, which aims to give these footholds, and scoops, to more American teens.