From homecoming and prom tickets to parking passes and entry into football games, it is no secret to Parkway North students that everything costs money, and many students at North work on weekends and after school in order to pay for all of these things.
While some students choose to work only during the summer as a lifeguard, nanny, or camp counselor, others work all year at restaurants, clothing or grocery stores.
Senior Paige Ferguson has worked at Smoothie King for about two years and currently is a shift leader there, working 30 or more hours per week. “It can be hard to balance school, sports, and having a job, but it also helps you learn responsibility and time management,” said Ferguson. She enjoys working because “it gives me the freedom to do more things that I want to do, like go to concerts or on trips with my friends because I have the money to pay for it.”
Working at Smoothie King, Ferguson’s job entails making drinks, working the cash register, and managing the staff when a manager is not on duty, “I interact with customers and the other employees to make sure that the store is running smoothly,” said Ferguson, “it is more responsibility than just a crew member, but not exactly as much as a manager, since I am still in high school.”
Not all high school jobs have to be working in the food industry, however. Senior Leah Jacobson teaches classes at the Religious School held at her temple, Shaare Emeth, and has taught there for the past five years. “Right now, I am teaching my own third grade class,” said Jacobson, “Our curriculum is based on learning the Hebrew alphabet and how it is both similar and different to the English alphabet. We also cover different holidays and stories from the Torah depending on what portion is that week.”
While many companies do not hire teenagers until they are at least 15 or 16, this job is an exception. “I became interested in this job because it started in 8th grade, so I have had a steady job since 8th grade, which is nice,” said Jacobson.
If students are on the lookout for jobs, the counseling office has a bulletin board with companies that are currently hiring. Some places that are popular for high school students to work are the Men’s Hair Saloon, Silky’s, Crushed Red, Domino’s Pizza, Dierbergs, McDonald’s, Rue 21, Saint Louis Bread Company, Starbucks, and Subway.
“I would encourage any student [considering working] to go for it because it gives you a lot more freedom money-wise, as long as you manage your time well,” said Ferguson.
by Lauren Sparks, editor-in-chief