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Jobs generate positive outcomes for teens

Tessa Wallace

November 22, 2019

It’s a part of life, and everyone at one time will have it- a job. West Point is a host of jobs for teenagers, from food services to retail to child care. All these jobs affect teenagers and their lifestyles; responsibilities, social life, and school work. 

Reportedly, 32 seniors have jobs that vary from working at fast food restaurants like Dairy Queen and Runza, to working at a daycare or nursing home. And with Hyvee: Dollar Fresh coming in within the next two months, seniors see the company as a chance to work at a good job. An estimated 18 seniors have applied to the company within the past weeks after getting an email from Daniel Feranu, guidance counselor.

Fernau sends out weekly emails to the junior and senior classes about job opportunities. On October 22, Mr. Fernau sent out an email about applications at HyVee and an open position at the Nebraska Vet Services. 

Businesses contact the school looking for 16 to 18 year-olds around town to work for them. Last year, Fernau put up flyers about the jobs; this year he sends out information in weekly emails, “...but not everyone checks their email, ” he stated. 

After students apply and complete an interview at the various businesses, the businesses often call back and ask for details about students. “Typically they ask about attendance, grades, and if they are a good citizen,” said Fernau. 

According to the U.S. department of labor, the maximum hours a teenager can work is 18 during the school week and 40 in a non-school week. Though it’s an average of 4 hours after school during the week, some students find it challenging to complete their school work and enjoy social activities. 

Students feel the pressure of maintaining their two different lives- studying for tests, completing homework assignments, and creating projects while keeping up with their work hours, learning the protocols and responsibilities, and keeping up with changing guidelines. 

Though students feeling pressure, they also grow along the way. Multiple employers state that the biggest change they see in student workers is that they become more sociable.

 Students in food services have to be polite and friendly with all customers to make sure they have a good time, along with students in other services. It’s a challenge at first because of nerves or attitudes but through months of working, they get better. They smile more often, memorize better, and keep up with small talk. 

            With having a job, students earn some money. Teenagers save their paychecks usually for a car if they’re old enough, or for a shopping spree at a mall. Teenagers earn money for their own needs; some teens buy their own clothes, pay household bills or their own bills, or buy essential items for themselves. 

            All in all, having a job can change teenagers for the better as they learn more responsibilities, earn money, and mature.  When working, it might be challenging at times, but the good outweighs the bad.


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