Adolescent Employment Among the GWUOHS Students

Alexandra H., Editor and Journalist

Adolescent Employment Among the GWUOHS Students

By Alexandra Hoethke, George Washington University Online High School Editor and Journalist

Tue January 15, 2019

(YAWP) — Students who attend the George Washington University Online High School are committed, not only to their studies but also to their jobs. One of the many benefits of attending an online school is having the ability to learn time management. The act of balancing a job with school studies has proven to be difficult for many students. Research has displayed many benefits regarding adolescent employment, as well as some disadvantages. Some teenagers find their transition to adulthood to be more prosperous if they worked throughout their high school years, gaining knowledge into the workforce. While other teenagers feel that by working many hours apart from their studies, cause their grades to be affected. The subject regarding whether teens should commit to a job in addition to their studies has been debated for years, but overall the benefits to working seem to have more positive results than not engaging in any form of work outside of studies.

Adolescents are intrigued by their ability to commit to a job. Many youths begin working around the age of twelve, however, these jobs are generally characterized as intimate rather than formal, as they are usually conducted in their own homes, neighborhoods, cutting grass, chores, walking dogs, or any type of unique job. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, most teens commit to a formal job by the age of 16 due to their ability to legally get paid. Teens who are old enough to formally work generally commit to jobs in the fields of retail, fast food restaurants, stores, or other retail stores. Many believe that by working at a young age, one can enhance their work ethic, ability to handle responsibilities, become more confident, and gain a sense of independence.

Some believe that having adolescents work hinders their ability to focus during school since their time is directed towards their job. According to the  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, some psychologists are concerned that adolescent employment could induce stress upon young teens.

Among the many students who attend the George Washington University Online High School, some are committed to a job.

Joshua T., a student in the eighth grade, is an actor, singer, dancer, musician, composer, accompanist, and Music Director. Joshua has been working for three and a half years. Throughout his experience, he learned how to be confident which, some say, is the key component for success. He also learned how to be supportive of those working alongside him during his shows/projects.

Dina S., a student in the twelfth grade, works for a personal chef who owns her own business. Dina has been working with a personal chef for a year and three months. The personal chef who she works for focuses on providing food for individuals/families who are on two specific diets, the Whole30 and F-Factor diet. Dina’s job consists of helping the chef sort and packs the dishes. After packaging the food, she then delivers it to the residents throughout New York. Dina is interested in studying business in college so working with a private business inspires her every day to pursue her goals. It has also provided her insight as to what is involved in running a business.

Katherine W., a student in the twelfth grade, works at a musical theater where she teaches young children. Katherine has worked at a musical theater for about two years formally. Prior to that, she was teaching as a volunteer. As Katherine worked at the theater, she learned how to work well with others, control her patience, and learn how to motivate others. Katherine’s job interests her because musical theater and musical education is her field of interest.

Griffin M., a student in the ninth grade, worked at a four-week soccer camp for girls who were of the ages of five through nine. Griffin coached and created the itinerary for the camp. Griffin found it challenging to work with the younger athletes because he found they became frustrated easily. However, he learned how to encourage them and it helped them feel better and improve their overall performance. Griffin is interested in continuing his job next summer.

Gabriel M., a student in the ninth grade, works at a museum. Gabriel has worked at a museum for four months. While working at a museum, she learned how to connect with people having different personalities which helped her enhance her social skills.

Mercedes W., a student in the eleventh grade, works at a restaurant called, Bolay. She has been working at Boolay for four months. While working at the restaurant, Mercedes has learned how to interact with others which helped her improve her social skills.

Dylan Y., a student in the eleventh grade, works as a senior advisor for a non-profit organization.  He has been working for one year. While working as a senior advisor, Dylan has learned the true meaning of team effort. Dylan plans on pursuing his education in the business industry.

Alexandra H., a student in the tenth grade, works as a tutor helping students with special needs students. She has been working with a special needs student for two years. Alexandra has been working with an eighth-grade student who has processing difficulties as well as Asperger’s Syndrome. Throughout her time working with the student, she has learned many things. One of the most valuable lessons she has learned is that everyone learns/processes differently. She has learned how to approach teaching the student by using different teaching methods. She learned that sometimes, you have to explain material in shorter context so that the student can better process the information. Alexandra has also learned that using visuals, redirecting when the student loses focus, and using props helps the student learn and feel confident that they are understanding the material. Alexandra finds her job to be very rewarding, especially when she sees the student understand the material being taught and thereafter, gain confidence. She believes her job has enhanced her perspective as well as shaped her into a well-rounded individual. Alexandra has enjoyed pursuing this job throughout her high school years. As she enters college, she will be pursuing a medical career.

Students commit to jobs for several reasons. Overall, most believe that students who work during their high school years are able to improve their social skills as well as enhance their sense of individuality. Moreover, they tend to feel more comfortable as they transition into the workforce after high school and college due to their prior work experiences.
















Works Cited


Jeylan T. Mortimer, The Benefits and Risks of Adolescent Employment.US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 1 Jan. 2011