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Students gain experience through working in high school


Students share benefits, downsides to balancing school and work

As much as we try to escape it, money provides a constant reminder that not everything in life comes free. As students continue to play sports, participate in activities and travel to new places, some consider getting a job to support their hobbies and plans for the future.

[/media-credit] Deborah Ingerson, ’20, (left) and Angelica Escalera, ’19, roll ice cream for customers at Jabin Ice Cream.

The age requirement for job applications varies depending on the type of work done in the job. Places such as Six Flags, McDonald’s and Winn-Dixie accept teenagers as young as 15 years old. Most other stores and restaurants like American Eagle, Carl’s Jr. and Target hire 16 year olds and up.

Amusements parks, fast food restaurants and supermarkets appreciate the work done by teenagers because they make positive impressions on customers and bring different perspectives to a work environment. Businesses also appreciate teenagers’ drive and ambition towards their goals.

Applying for jobs in high school offers students many beneficial opportunities. They are able to make money to support the activities they participate in, so as to not depend on their parents so much. Students also learn important skills that help them in their future careers.

Wanting to gain experience and earn some money, senior Amanda Grimmius applied to CLUB176 at Fresno Christian as a child care worker. Conveniently located close to her home, Grimmius appreciates the short trip and the lessons learned at work.

“I get to hang out with kids all afternoon and really get to know them,” Grimmius said. “It takes a lot of energy after school to be able to do that, but my job is really fun and it makes me feel like a good person helping care for those kids. I think high schoolers should get a job because it teaches a lot of responsibility and it prepares you for life outside of high school.”

The minimum wage for teenagers in California has risen in the past few years. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, minimum wage for employees stands at $11/hour, but is planning on rising a dollar each year after.

Although he worked back in Iowa, Jacob Scully, ‘19, experienced a very low pay compared to Californians–almost four dollars lower. Scully worked at Hyvee, a Midwest grocery store, which required him to bag items, push carts in and out of the store and stock shelves.

“The flexible work schedule was a huge benefit while working there, as well as having manageable hours,” Scully said. “I agreed with the amount of pay that I received at Hyvee. It was a good starting position for many high schoolers like me. There were also opportunities provided for a raise. I encourage high schoolers to get a job, if possible, because it not only acts as a way to make some money for yourself, a job also provides you with basic skills that you need in the workplace.”

Kamryn Schultz talks to Amanda Grimmius about her job at CLUB176.

The number of hours one is able to work also affects why students apply for jobs. For example, during school, 16 and 17 years olds are only allowed to work four hours a day and a maximum of 28 hours a week, according to the Employment Law Handbook.

Landon Goldsborough, ‘19, recently started working at Target as a cashier. To avoid conflicts with school, he works Saturdays and Sundays only, ranging from four to eight hours a day.

“It (my job) is a good way to earn money to pay for the many expenses that come up in high school,” Goldsborough said. “One downside is that it clogs up my time during the weekends and it’s more difficult to complete assignments or participate in events. I would like more hours, but my schedule just wouldn’t allow it. So I’m glad to stay where it is. I think it’s a good idea for high schoolers to learn responsibility and earn some money of their own.”

Although working in high school provides students with experience and funds, some see downsides to gaining a job. As classes hand out more homework, students find it difficult to balance both education and a job on their busy schedules.

Senior Alina Ochoa has worked at Holiday Retirement since July, serving the elderly by giving them food and cleaning up after them. Although she enjoys the pay and the opportunity to learn new things, she disagrees with the conflict it makes with her schedule.

“Sometimes my school schedule clashes with my work schedule which makes it difficult,” Ochoa said. “We don’t have many employees so we have a very tight schedule and it’s hard to switch scheduling if we need to. Also, to get paid a lot you have to work everyday during the week and weekends too if you want to get a good paycheck since the hours aren’t that long.”

[/media-credit] Senior Kamryn Schultz dresses in a uniform for her job at Chick-Fil-A.

Since school takes up the majority of student’s time during the day, most feel the need to focus on that rather than putting effort into working. They find it difficult to balance working a job with school, sports and spending extra time with friends and family. 

But the benefits outweigh the doubts, evidence of that being receiving money for activities, gaining new skills and experience as well as preparing students for a life in college. Working a job in high school teaches responsibility and independence, as well as giving students an idea of what they want to pursue in the future.

Stores all around Fresno offer jobs to students looking to gain experience or earn some extra cash. Chick-Fil-A offers walk in interviews to those who fill out an application and present a resume to the manager. Target also accepts applications online. 

To check out other FCS students’ job experiences, read SWJ: Deborah & Angelica.

For more information on hiring jobs in Fresno, click here. For more articles, read ABC30 producer shares view on media bias and International students serve through packaging gifts.

Kamryn Schultz can be reached via email and Twitter.

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