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Here at Castle Senior Living, we have hired several fabulous Mukwonago-area high school students to work as caregivers at Birchrock Castle. These young people bring positive attitudes and smiles to work each day, and residents have embraced them as welcome additions to our team. The five teens recently shared about themselves and their roles with us.

Hailey Graul, 17, hopes for a career in nursing someday. She enjoys her position particularly because she loves making a positive impact and “being able to put a smile on residents’ faces.” Sage Kaiser, 18, aims for smiling residents as well: “It is important to me that each and every one of our residents feels important and loved every time I am working.” After high school, Sage plans to pursue a degree in occupational therapy, specializing in work with the geriatric population and/or stroke victims.

Rylee Radtke, 18, has been touched by the impact she’s been able to make, on both the residents and their families. When a resident passed away, Rylee found out that she had talked to her family regularly about Rylee. Says Rylee, “Seeing the family so grateful and appreciative of the love I had for the resident filled my heart. I want to keep making that impact where others can feel happy, loved, and appreciated.” Rylee is on track to achieve this goal in her desire to become a nurse anesthetist who works on army medical bases.

For aspiring forensic nurse Emily Graber, 16, the residents at Birchrock Castle make her job enjoyable. She says, “The residents always make me laugh, and they are genuinely the best. Each and every story that the residents tell me is amazing and hilarious.” Sage echoes the connections with residents as her favorite part of the position. She believes “they are so wise, and we can learn a lot from them and their experiences.” Future nurse Rylee Georgenson, 17, describes the residents as very kind and cheerful, saying, “I am always excited to come in to see my residents.”

If other young people are considering careers in caregiving, Hailey recommends having “patience and a want to help people.” Emily encourages individuals to especially consider work in memory care, saying, “Working at Castle Senior Living has taught me that caring for dementia patients is hard but totally worth it.” Sage shares that “the field is so rewarding, and you know that you are making a difference with your work.”

Rylee R. has discovered that a caregiving position can help build confidence and teach how to better engage with people—but most importantly, in such work, you can “fulfill a desire to help by meeting unique, amazing people” and make “a wonderful change” in someone’s life. And finally, Rylee G. offers some inspiring advice: “It is worth it! … I don’t feel like I am working. I feel like I am spending time with family. If you are doubting, make the jump and try it. You won’t regret it.”