Viking Vault unlocks student job opportunities


Bennie Chang

TFT students meet their first customer during the Viking Vault’s soft opening for staff members

Bennie Chang, Editor-in-Chief

Lynbrook’s student store, the Viking Vault, has found a home inside the newly constructed cafeteria. The store will continue to sell school supplies and snacks, but the format has undergone some changes — the Viking Vault is now a business run by students in Lynbrook’s new class: Training for Transition (TFT).

Established at Lynbrook this year, TFT is taught by culinary and special education teacher Megan Miller. The course aims to prepare students for the workforce. After observing the success of similar classes in other FUHSD schools, Lynbrook’s Special Education department decided to implement the TFT curriculum and adjust it to fit students’ needs. In the class, students have the opportunity to try out different jobs on campus by assisting with Lynbrook’s recycling program, working in the print center and managing the student store. Other than having jobs, students like junior Daisha Travenia are also learning about the job application process.

“We work on applications to get practice, so when the time does come and we want to get a job, we would know how to do it by ourselves,” junior Daisha Travenia said. “This class gives us practice and independence.”

One unique aspect of the class is that TFT students will work with Academic Community in Transition (ACT) students to run the Viking Vault together. 

Before construction, the ACT program ran the student store out of a space near the old ASB den. During the renovation of the quad, the store was put on hold, and teachers used the time to reflect on how it could be improved. They decided that they wanted the ACT students to have more interactions with other students at Lynbrook while managing the Viking Vault. 

During this time, Miller started working on the TFT class with the goal of providing students with opportunities to try out new jobs. After hearing about the goals of the Special Education department, Miller proposed the Viking Vault as a place with job opportunities for both TFT and ACT students. Once the store officially opens, TFT and ACT students will share the responsibility of running the store and managing the proceeds together. 

“We want our TFT students to have confidence when they begin their jobs and build their leadership skills in the process,” Miller said. “Also, having them work with ACT students whom they may not have exposure to on a day-to-day basis helps them learn how to be not only a role model but also a leader with responsibilities.”

Senior David Emory is excited to be in TFT because he wants to serve the community by working in the student store and helping ACT students.

“I’m looking forward to working and mentoring the ACT students,” Emory said.  “Working together in the Viking Viking will not only help them but also give us leadership skills and real-life experiences in the process.” 

The class has spent months preparing to open the store. To set up the Viking Vault for its opening, TFT students sent out a survey to the student body to gauge interest in potential products. After discovering that people most wanted to buy school supplies, Viking apparel and snacks, students then worked together to decide which specific items to place on shelves. 

During fifth period, Miller trains students like Emory and Travenia, reinforcing their knowledge of proper business etiquette. Students learn critical skills such as being accountable and transparent while handling money and being professional when helping customers. In addition, the students work together during class to brainstorm innovative ways to reach more people. 

“One of the things we’re hoping to pilot this year is to offer online pre-orders for students,” Miller said. “Our hope is that the TFT and the ACT students will be able to work together to fill pre-orders and gather the inventory package, so it is ready to go. Then, Lynbrook students can come in and give us their names, and we will have their order ready for them.”
To prepare for day-to-day operations, Miller and the TFT students held a soft opening of the Viking Vault from Oct. 28 to Oct. 30 for staff members. Some teachers used the pre-order forms and went to the store to pick up their package. Throughout the week, students worked in the Vault during lunch and tutorial, and they were able to get hands-on experience interacting with teachers and staff members. 

After a final week of preparations, the Viking Vault officially opened on Monday Nov. 4 to students on campus. Now, Vikings can go to the student store during Monday lunches, Tuesday tutorials and Wednesday lunches to purchase school supplies, Viking apparel and snacks.

“TFT has really helped develop bonds between us students too,” Emory said. “Everyone here is so nice and social, and we have really gotten to know each other well.”

TFT students feel that the Viking Vault is more than a student store — it is a family where students can discover their futures together and build lasting connections with people they might not have met otherwise.