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Money Or Extracurriculars? Every Grizzly has a Choice

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Money Or Extracurriculars? Every Grizzly has a Choice

Reporter Katty Gallegos shows part of her El Pollo Loco work uniform on January 31, 2019.

Reporter Katty Gallegos shows part of her El Pollo Loco work uniform on January 31, 2019.

Katty Gallegos

Reporter Katty Gallegos shows part of her El Pollo Loco work uniform on January 31, 2019.

Katty Gallegos

Katty Gallegos

Reporter Katty Gallegos shows part of her El Pollo Loco work uniform on January 31, 2019.

Katty Gallegos, Staff Writer

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The United States Census Bureau has found that 1 in 4 high school students are employed.

Reasons as to why students work vary but it is typically to help their parents or to just make some extra cash.

Although having a job can teach us to mature and have a sense of responsibility, it can get in the way of our academics. Counselor Alba Valenzuela agrees that employment evokes the growth of students,  “A job helps students contribute to their non-essential expenses such as senior activities, a car, or any other miscellaneous items,” said Valenzuela.

Having to work during the week restricts students from finishing their homework and increases the chances of procrastination. A job is a distracting factor and if it is not handled properly, it can lead to inefficient grades.

Many parents are not willing to risk the grades of their children, therefore, they don’t let them get a job. Senior, Laura Aguilar wants to earn her own money but her father does not approve.

“My dad does not want me to work as he thinks there is no financial need for it, so I decided to invest my time elsewhere.” She is involved in extracurriculars including dance and is the team’s co-captain.

Aguilar is one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to work, however, there are other students who work because without the extra cash their family would struggle.

Senior, Edgar Garcia is involved in limited extracurriculars as most of his time is devoted to his job. Working around 30 hours a week, Garcia has early dismissal in order to ensure he gets to work on time. “I need to help my mom with the bills and I cannot commit to various extracurriculars and my job (at the same time),”  Garcia said.

Although having a job is a challenge, it is also a privilege. The Santa Ana Unified School District has a policy that must be met in order to be granted a work permit. Students requesting a permit must not have more than three truancies, excessive tardies, and/or failing grades. A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained in order for the students to keep the permit.

Once you have a work permit, there are still restrictions minors have. The hours permitted to work vary depending on age. 16 and 17-year-olds cannot work more than 4 hours on a school day, 8 hours on the weekend, and no more than 20 hours a week.

Working at El Pollo Loco for over a year has taught me a plethora of skills such as: communication, teamwork, and resilience.

Along with working, however, comes plenty of positives and negatives. Getting my first job was definitely a milestone in my life as I was able to earn my own money and purchase my own needs.

Due to work, I gave up some extracurriculars such as Key Club. Key Club has most of their events on Saturdays, a day I work, therefore, I can not make it to the their volunteer opportunities.

Employment during high school is not something for everyone; some people struggle to balance school and work while others do it easily. Whether or not you end up working is up to you.

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