The No. 1 website local teenagers use for research is YouTube.
That was a key, if surprising, finding when volunteers Suzy and Mike Marzalek, along with Chop's Teen Club, surveyed 200 middle and high school students.
The discovery helped inspire the couple to create www.jobsmadereal.com, a website designed to teach young people about careers in a medium they prefer — video.
The Marzaleks partnered with Chop's to execute the vision.
"It has a whole YouTube look and feel, because teens told Chops how they like to learn, and the whole website was built with that in mind," Suzy Marzalek said.
Short videos give young viewers a glimpse into the life of a graphic designer, a ship pilot, a mint farmer and even a cowboy. They've peppered the site with details about salaries, job outlook and personality traits that are suited to each job, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"We learned that teens, and some of the people at the college level, they don't really know enough about what people really do to take advantage of mentoring or job shadowing," Suzy Marzalek said. "This is one way to give them insight into what people really do."
Mike Marzalek spent many hours scouring YouTube for career videos, and then set up links to relevant clips.
"Suzy and I did some initial development but the real meat of the website was developed in conjunction with Chop's," Mike Marzalek said. "The whole community has been really heavily involved."
The Marzaleks have been just as heavily involved with the rest of the community. They were recently named 2013 Philanthropists of the Year by United Way of Wine Country.