By: Makenzie Droll
Turning sixteen provides teens with an opportunity for independence and maturity. Some people want to get a job as soon as they are old enough, but others would rather wait. Nevaeh Boden is a junior who works three days a week at the Sideling Hill Travel Plaza at Burger King. Boden works the second shift. She started her job in 2019 and has been working there for about three months. Boden got a job because her mom and dad were struggling with money. Boden was eighteen when she started working at Burger King. Boden does not drive so she gets a ride to work. Boden says, “with my money I save it, but if mom and dad need money for gas or something I will give them money.”
Aden Scott, a junior who works at Founders Crossing in Bedford, only works the weekends. Scott says, “I save most of it up, and some goes to what I want or need, just pocket change.” Scott works extra hours if he can get them. Scott started his job two years ago right before school started when he just turned sixteen. Scott gets a ride to work and works seven hours. Scott starts when it opens and gets off when they close. Scott explains he chose this job because “it was pretty close to where I stay on the weekends, and I know the owners.”
Some teens have to work late and get up in the morning for school, so they struggle with trying to get enough sleep.
Many kids who have a job have to pay for their own things that they need or want. “I work because I want to have a little bit of money; I drive so I need money for gas and I have bills to pay,” says Caleb Sopher.
Having a job teaches kids about the real world and what the real world is like. “In the real world people are developed and mature,” says Sopher. In some cases having a job teaches you how to clean; in other cases their jobs teach them how to cook. Having a job teaches kids how short the day is and how they must manage time. The benefits aren’t just money in the pocket, but life lessons to take into the future.