Noli students learn important job skills


Freshmen and sophomore students at Noli Indian School at the Soboba Reservation spent the past two weeks preparing for a day devoted to job skills. Ninth graders learned how to complete a job application, create a resume and take part in a mock interview for a proposed job as Host/Cashier at Soboba Casino Resort.

While the job is an actual position that is offered to those 18 and older, these students were just practicing their interview skills for future positions. Each was graded on a rubric that gave them 10-25 points based on four categories that are important for any job candidate to possess.

They were rated on professional business attire, preparedness by arriving with application and resume in hand, speaking clearly and distinctly while exhibiting good posture and eye contact throughout the interview.

Eliza Persons holds a mock interview with freshman Carlos Manzanilla during a job skills day at Noli Indian School. | Photos courtesy of the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians

One of the volunteer interviewers was Eliza Persons, who is currently a receptionist at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon and previously worked as a director at San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning.

Afterwards, she said her interviewees were genuinely excellent. “I’ve had much worse interviews with full-grown adults,” she said. “I got the vibe they would all like to work at the casino one day, which is exciting for the Tribe and the casino’s future.”

Also helping to give students a real employment interview experience was Kathy Small, who has worked for Soboba’s Human Resources department for three years but has been employed by the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians for the past 12 years.

“I like to see where the kids are at and help them get ready for going out into the world,” Small said. She was impressed that the students she interviewed were all able to reference working at Powwows and other Tribal events.

Leland Razon makes suggestions to the homepage design for T.A.G. while teammates discuss it prior to their presentation to judges, March 26.

Sophomores were asked to work in small groups to create a business and then design a mock homepage that would appeal to visitors to their website. They were not told what the assignment would be in advance, and they did not choose their own teammates. This required them to work together and make group decisions within the 15-minute time limit they were given. Each group was then given time to present their business to judges who asked them questions they took turns answering.

Using a rubric with scores of 1 through 10, students were graded on how well they communicated with each other to figure out solutions, whether they used their time wisely, and if they exhibited knowledge and confidence during the presentation while engaging with the judges.

After a few minutes of brainstorming, the creative teams came up with very different business ideas and worked well together to execute their design and organize their page to reveal what their business offers.

The team of Serena Hawk, Xavier Moreno and Shawna Rivera presented on the business they created that offers livestream and archived sporting events to subscribers. The assignment is mandatory for Noli sophomores.

Serena Hawk, Xavier Moreno and Shawna Rivera made Sports Live, a subscription service that allows customers to pick and choose which sporting event they want to watch, past and present, after a free trial.

High school sophomores Ronald Morillo, Edgar Gladin and Selaya Helms work on the homepage design for their imaginary business, T.A.G. or Trade and Go at Noli Indian School, March 26.

Edgar Gladin, Selaya Helms, Ronald Morillo and Leland Razon launched T.A.G. (Trade and Go) which allows customers to trade goods or services of equivalent value.

Francisco Lemus, Sophie Resvaloso and Sandie Pimentel collaborate on a design for the homepage of their fashion line that offers eco-friendly clothing and other items at affordable prices.

Franciso Lemus, Sandie Pimentel and Sophie Resvaloso offered an eco-friendly clothing line at Sophie’s Fashion Store, whose initials reflect their first names. The site offers all types of affordable items, including seasonal items as they also repurpose materials to manufacture baskets, flowers and home décor. Francisco said, “Our clothing is good for the environment and comfortable to be in.”

Noli Indian School Business Manager Genna Santini, center, enlisted the aid of Kathy Small, left, and Eliza Persons at a mandatory interview skills session for freshmen, March 26.

Facilitating both events was Business Manager Genna Santini, who has been at Noli for 10 years. The annual event is mandatory for 9th and 10th grade students to attend as it is worth a portion of their English grade. There are no make-up dates and students are encouraged to dress to impress.


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