Students Who Work


It is not uncommon for students to work during high school.  According to an article published by Walden University, 30% of students in the United States work while in high school. Most of the time students who are employed work minimum wage or have summer jobs that turn into official part-time jobs when school starts.  Some students work to have their own spending money or save for college, while others work to contribute to their family finances. In the state of California, students may work 4 hours per day on any schoolday, and 8 hours on any non-schoolday as per the State Labor Commissioner.  The state of California also requires that any student have a work permit to get a job that does not qualify as “agricultural” or “self-employment”, such as babysitting, or farm work. If an employer violates child labor laws they are subject to fines and even imprisonment. Additional information regarding the laws that apply to young workers can be found on the U.S. Department of Labor website. Because of the restrictions placed on employers by the state and the federal government regarding employees under the age of 18, a significant amount of the jobs available to high school students are in the fast food industry.

For many students balancing school, and work is a way of life, here are a few of them:

Senior, Nick Ruiz who is also a cook and works cashier at Wendy’s is able to work and stay on top of his academics. Nick is able to balance his work and school by being organized and usually works towards the end of the week. He is usually working around 20 hours a week.
Senior, Lizbeth Andrade is currently employed at McDermont Field House in Lindsay. There she helps out with the food preparation and runs attractions and is making sure everything is running smoothly. She also works as a cashier and drive-thru at Wendy’s. We asked how she manages to balance school and work she said, “It’s tough but I just try to stay organized and make sure my school work gets done on time.” Lizbeth works both jobs 4-5 days a week. However, she does not let this affect her academics as she is a 4.27 student and a member of our Porterville Panther Band.

















Senior, Julian Andrade is currently employed at Jack in the Box on Henderson Avenue. There he usually works the fryer and is making sure all of the equipment he is using is up to par. Julian balances school and work by making sure he is responsible and on top of all of his academics as he gets all of his work done at school.
Senior, Jayla Roberts is one of our student workers. She is currently employed part-time as a cashier at Carl’s Jr. When asked how she balances school and work she responded, “I work weekends so I usually do my homework before my shift and try to get all my work done during the week.” While working 5-10 hours a week, Jayla manages to keep a GPA of 3.8 and is an active member of our Panther ASB.














 The College Board (the “people” who make the SAT and AP tests)  has found that students who work are more confident and possess better time-management skills than those that don’t. Not only are working students learning job skills and responsibility, but employers can potentially write recommendation letters for students as they continue their education. While this may seem disheartening to students that choose not to get a job while in high school, the College Board also finds that students who work more than 15-20 hours per week often become less successful in school due to working long hours and having limited time to spend with friends. There is no doubt the possibility of working and going to school is difficult, but these senior leaders have done a great job balancing both and showing their fellow students what is possible. 

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