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  • Alexa Muchnick

Students get entry-level jobs that help them face the working world

A big milestone is a person’s first job. While a first job for many is in high school, Stevenson has such a full curriculum that it can be hard for day students to work during the school year. Resident students are not allowed to have jobs off campus due to the lack of reliable transportation.

Maya Chavez works diligently to serve the customers at The Power Plant Café, a shop in Moss Landing not far from her home in Watsonville.

For high schoolers, there are only so many types of entry-level jobs that they are eligible for. Senior Curtis Da Silva is a waiter at MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company in downtown Monterey. Senior Daniela Fernandez currently works as a receptionist at H&R Block. She shares that previously she has worked at two different Safeways for many months. Additionally, she has worked as a designer at a company. Junior Maya Chavez works at the Power Plant Cafe in Moss Landing, primarily on the retail side of the business, and occasionally

on the café side.

There has been a trend of students having to cut down hours during school. Chavez explains, “I started working at the start of the summer, but since school started, I definitely had to cut down my hours so now I only work like one day a week.” Similarly, Da Silva works a lot more when school is not in session: “During the school weeks, I usually just work 2-3 days a week whenever I have time, and on breaks or during the summer, I work more.”

For others such as Fernandez, flexibility is not always possible in terms of work hours: “My job is primarily weekdays, which can [make it] hard to manage doing homework. My hours are better than my previous job, but I still need to do my work during free periods and on the weekends. It can be hard to manage, but I do enjoy the structure.”

A primary reason Stevenson students have to cut down on work during school is because of Stevenson’s time-consuming schedule. Not only is there a significant after-school work load, but Stevenson requires students to be part of extracurricular activities, creating minimal free time for a job. Because of this, some students feel the school is not supportive of working on top of everything. Fernandez shares: “I never thought the school would take an excuse for not getting my school work completed.”

Students gain a variety of skills and benefits from having a job in high school. Da Silva shares insights about skills he has gained from his job as a waiter: “I have definitely learned time-management as well as talking to people and being personable.” Fernandez shares that “picking up on people skills is important,” and she says she has definitely gained those from being a receptionist.

Similarly, Chavez shares benefits of her job that she did not expect: “I enjoy having kids who are older than me who have been through a lot more stuff than I have giving me insights. Also, my boss is super sweet and wants to help me figure out college stuff, so it is nice to have support outside of school. Honestly, I did not expect to get this out of a job.”

For a lot of students thinking about college, finances are important. Da Silva shares, “A lot of jobs I would be getting don’t pay very well, but the income is important to me especially when it comes to paying for college.” Additionally, Fernandez strategically thinks through her income and expenses: “I put a third of my money in savings every paycheck, spend a third of it on things I want, and use the last third for necessities.” Chavez tries to save the majority of her income: “Most of the money I get goes into my savings account. I won’t buy things often so that it doesn’t take a big blow out of my account.”

However, we are not considering resident students. Resident students are not allowed to have a job during the year because of the concern of lack of reliable transportation. Many borders wish there were more on-campus work opportunities. Senior Melody Cai explains that almost all of her day-student friends have jobs and she wishes she could work during the year as well. Cai explains, “As a border, your money mostly comes from your family and parents, so you can’t have your own stream of income. You have to be much more careful of what you spend because you don’t know when you will see your family again or make money.” In terms of having a job off campus, Cai understands the complications, but she wishes there were on campus job opportunities: “It is probably really hard logistically for a border to work at like a Starbucks, but I wish rather than a punishment, there could be an opportunity to make like $15 an hour to clean the dining hall or shelve books in the learning commons.”

While there are currently minimal opportunities for on campus work (primarily at sports events), hopefully there will be more in the future for resident students to gain the same important work experience before going off to college.


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