Manassas Journal Messenger 2/12/01



speaks at OHS career day:

16-year-old founder of shares sucess story


Tiffany Schwab




MANASSAS – In a twist on the traditional career day, Osbourn High School

has invited a fellow teen-ager to talk to students about the world of work.

Saied Ghaffari, a junior at Oakton High School in Fairfax County, will

make a presentation to about 200 students Tuesday on the company he founded, Juniorjobs is a Web site that allows teens to cruise for

a job from their home computers and apply online.

The 16-year-old will tell students how he transformed his idea into

a business. The presentation doubles as a way to promote the company and

speak to students on entrepreneurship.

Saied said the idea for the company came about in 1999 when he was 15.

“My friends and I went out for jobs and we couldn’t find a thing,”

he said.

He thought about creating a job-searching Web page for teens, but didn’t

know how to go about it. So, after talking with friends who also had an

interest, Saied contacted his uncle Karim Ardalan, who runs a company called

Multimedia Internet Service.

Ardalan guided the youth through the initial designing process and helped

him get the site up and running.

Since then, the company has grown to a staff of six teens and four adults,

including Saied’s mother, Davar Ardalan, the only full-time employee.

“Without her, I don’t think it would be here,” Saied said.

The teens have control over what the site looks like and offer a teen

perspective to job seekers.

The site has bright colors, changing graphics and is easy for teens

to navigate. It is geared toward the 14- to 19-year-old crowd.

“We wanted it to be easy, so right when they went there, they wouldn’t

be confused,” he said.

Saied and his mother write articles for the site, including interviews

with teens on the job and tips on how not to be nervous at job interviews.

The site has access to about 600 jobs and has teens registered in 30

states, although the site only lists jobs in the immediate area, for now.

Jobs range from cashier to Web developer, “Because teens are good

at that,” Saied said.

Saied said students shouldn’t expect a long and drawn out presentation

from him.

“I’m a teenager, so I know what’s boring or not,” he said.

In addition to Saied, Osbourn will welcome more than 60 speakers to

the school Tuesday, said school-to-career coordinator Maxine Griggs.

Each classroom will host a speaker, who will talk to students in their

second period classes on subjects relating to that course, Griggs said.

For example, a film writer is speaking to students enrolled in drama

class. A chiropractor will talk to students in biology and a real estate

broker will talk to students in algebra class, she said.

“The goal is to help students understand the importance of their

academics at the high school level,” Griggs said of career day.

This is Osbourn’s first career day in about eight years and the most

extensive to date, she said.

“They’ve never done it to this degree where they have a speaker

in each classroom,” Griggs said.

Presentations begin at 9:15 a.m. More presentations will be made at

classes beginning at 9:55 a.m., she said. The theme of the day is “Academics

and Careers – There is a Connection.”

The school-to-career program is new at Osbourn this year. Griggs described

it as a transition program that helps students make decisions beyond high

school for career goals.

· Contact Tiffany Schwab at [email protected]



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