07/10/2012 04:26 pm ET | Updated Jul 10, 2012

Jennifer Mahin, Teen Lifeguard On First Day Of Job, Rescues Victim (WATCH)

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The first day at any summer job might be nerve-wracking, but for 17-year-old Jennifer Mahin, her first day was one she'll never forget -- the teen recently spoke to NBC about her experience saving a life immediately after she became a certified lifeguard.

When Mahin graduated from the California State lifeguard academy, her instructor told her, "You might save a life today," according to Patch.com. A few hours later, she was walking along a jetty and came across a distraught group of teenagers who asked Mahin to call 911. Their friend, another 17-year-old girl, was caught in a rip current and was unable to get out.

One friend had tried to pull the girl out of the water, but he was thrown against the rocks and told to "just leave her" by another friend. Mahin instantly jumped in to save the girl. When she found her unresponsive and was unable to pull her out of the waves, she stayed in the water until more experienced life guards came for help.

"I held her head up because I didn't know if she was breathing," Mahin told Patch.com. "She went under, so I just assumed she wasn't breathing."

Once help arrived, Mahin assisted the rescuers by clipping the victim to a rescue device. After being pulled from the water, the victim was responsive. Mahin had helped save a life.

The Carlsbad, California teen -- also a member of her high school's water polo team -- called her accomplishment "the most gratifying thing ever."

Earlier this summer, Australian teen Sam Porter made waves for pulling a drowning victim out of the water -- and the rescue was his third in three years. In a more high profile act of do-gooding, Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence rushed to assist a woman who fainted on her lawn.

Are you inspired by Mahin's story? Has a summer job ever changed your life? Sound off in the comments below or tweet @HuffPostTeen!