Summer Hustlin’


Senior Owen Clobes worked as a hauler this summer. Pictured above are some of the many things that Clobes hauled. He stated, “I spend the money I make on gas, food, and savings.” Photo from: Owen Clobes

Caroline Marsden and Audrey Flynn

The summer is a prime time for high schoolers to gain experience working jobs and make their own money. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2016, 34.6% of 16-19 year olds in America had a summer job. However, back in the 1970s – 1990s about two thirds of teens were employed over summer break. Although some teens still have summer jobs, employment for the age group dropped dramatically due to the Great Recession (2007-2009) to 34% where it has stayed in that range ever since. When interviewed, some Ventura High School students shared information on what it’s like for today’s teens in the workforce. There are a variety of reasons students have jobs. It can help you build up your savings, it can look nice on a future resume, and can offer important life experience. “I love my job, I love working around people that are super amazing, and I’m able to socialize while helping customers,” commented sophomore Iliana Macias in reference to her experience working at Peking Chinese restaurant.

 Senior Theodore Warren, who did a mechanical engineering internship at Port Hueneme Navy Base,  stated, “I’ve saved all the money.”

And senior Luc Le Vasseur, who got a job at Native Pizza, stated, “I’m saving a lot of the money that I’m making in a bank account.”

On the other hand, senior Alanm Magana decided to take the money he earned from working at Burger King and, “just waste it on video games”.

Of course, the first step to making money is getting the job. Some students got their jobs through a family connection, like senior Owen Clobes who reported “My uncle runs the company”, when referring to how he got his hauling job with AAA Hauling. Similarly, senior Ashlynn Velarde, who works at Andria’s Seafood expressed “I got the job from an old friend that used to work there and [she] helped me get an interview.”

However, sophomore Iliana Macias got her job independently at Peking Chinese by, “applying when they were in need of employees”. 

Senior Alanm Magana, who got his job at Burger King, stated “I applied online, and I knew the manager’s kids. This was my first job. I started in May. I make twelve bucks an hour, which is okay for me. My shifts are normally from two to eight hours. I enjoy it; it ain’t too bad. It gave me something to do this summer.”

Senior India Hill interned at a law firm in Los Angeles.

“I got the job through a family friend, who is an attorney.” stated Hill “It was my first job, other than babysitting and tutoring. I made fourteen dollars an hour and put most into savings. I enjoyed it, but it got a bit repetitive towards the end.”

Although, it might be nice to rake in some cash, many students feel as if they’re missing out on summer.

This summer, Senior Theo Warren did a mechanical engineering internship at Port Hueneme Navy Base. “I did lots of hands on work with high tech machines,” Warren said. Photo from:Theo Warren

When asked whether or not they enjoyed their jobs, the students’ answers varied. Senior Theodore Warren commented, “I felt like I missed a lot, but at the same time I would’ve otherwise spent the summer watching TV or playing video games.” Hill added “I enjoyed my job, but it definitely got a bit repetitive. It was hard to not get to hang out with friends as much.” 

Sophomore Iliana Macias, along with seniors Alanm Magana and Luc Le Vasseur felt differently. Macias said, “I don’t feel I’m missing out because I plan my schedule alongside school, so they don’t clash.” Magana stated that “My job gave me something to do this summer”. “This is my last year of high school, so I’ve had enough days of summer. I’m doing something worthwhile.” added Le Vasseur.

Too much time spent at a job, or with certain people, seems to be a factor that can jeopardize how enjoyable a job is. Senior Ashlynn Velarde expressed her frustration saying, “I used to enjoy my job, but I have been there since December and I’m over it. The people are starting to irritate me, and I need a new one.”

Whether or not these students enjoyed their jobs, they are a great learning experience and a way to meet new people. Getting a summer job can keep you safe, according to a study from 2015 by the American Association of the Advancement of Science, summer jobs reduce violence significantly among disadvantaged teens. Summer doesn’t necessarily mean a break from everything. In her article on the Medical Daily, Lecia Bushak wrote, “working a summer job can instill pride in a teen for earning his own money, as well as boosting his ability to cooperate with others.”
These high schoolers accomplished something during their summer, and the lessons they learned will stick with them forever.