Many students picked up new skills with summer jobs

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By Angela Woods


CCHS Correspondent

For most adults, work is year-round. For high school students, it doesn’t necessarily have to be.  After all, Carroll County isn’t on a year-round school schedule. Many high school students chose to take on the challenge of a summer job.  They believe this experience will prepare them for life after high school, and the jobs come with the added perks of eliminating boredom and providing income.

High school students have been working at many places this summer. They’ve been at the county park, General Butler State Park, Sonic, McDonald’s, media centers, Kroger, Wal-Mart and Vanity Fair, to name only a few.  Here’s a look at what some of the young adults in the community have been doing this summer.

Lakeshia (Keshia) Henderson, who will be a senior at Carroll County High School this year, was a lifeguard at the county park this summer.

Keshia says that she has fun at her job, but that being a lifeguard also “teaches you a lot, like CPR, first aid, and how to be observant.”  Keshia has witnessed a few scary incidents. Recently, Keshia helped a woman who had a seizure as she recovered and waited for the ambulance to arrive.  

That incident has indubitably prepared Keshia for future emergency situations that she might encounter throughout her life.  She believes high school students need the experience of summer jobs because “they teach you skills and values for whenever you’re out of school and you have to be in the real world.”

There are many high school students working at fast food restaurants this summer.  

Brandon Denning, Regan Hawkins and Susan Lewellyn, all three juniors at Carroll County High School, worked at Sonic.  Regan believes summer jobs are important because they “help you learn responsibility.”  

Brandon said a summer job is a good start in life.

“It prepares you for the real world.”  Susan said, “I love my job. It’s so much fun.”  

Susan especially enjoyed the camaraderie that has developed among the Sonic employees over the summer. She likes the “downtimes, when we all hang out and clean. We’re all really good friends and everyone gets along here.”  

She said she learned to deal with so many different types of people. Susan said “having a job during the summer is great.”  

Susan had to stop working once school starts because of schoolwork and extra-curricular activities. Her positive attitude and willingness to work will serve her well in whatever she attempts, be it marching band or difficult academic classes.  Perhaps the work ethic required of her at Sonic has further developed her skills of diligence, friendliness, and efficiency.

Derek Williams will be a sophomore at CCHS. This summer, Derek worked with the Ghent Media Center. His main jobs are “editing commercials, TV programs, web sites, and much more,”  Derek explained. “I love my job. I have a lot of fun doing it.” Derek worked at this job this summer because “video has always been a passion” for him.  

“I don’t care about the pay, though it is an added bonus; I just have fun,” he said. Derek encourages high school students to find a summer job in an area that interests them so they enjoy their job while being productive with their time.

Another rising junior at Carroll County High School, Jenna Goff, has been babysitting this summer.

“I enjoy babysitting,” she said. “It lets you meet and interact with new people who you normally wouldn’t be around.”  

Jenna believes it’s a good idea for high school students to have summer jobs. “That way, they’re more active and not just sitting around the house.  They’re also less likely to get into trouble when they have a job.”  

At Kroger, shoppers found rising senior Cody Clifton behind a cash register.  

“It’s fun to work up there because you get to meet all kinds of people,” he said. Cody decided to work this summer so he “could get work experience and see how the real world works.”  He said he wanted to learn how to put his own money back so he could learn to handle it myself and not have to rely on other people.

A key benefit of summer jobs for teenagers is the financial management skills and the value of hard work they learn. Cody likes the fact that, as a cashier, he gets to “work with money, which is a very important skill in today’s time” and “talk with a wide variety of people.”

Cody plans to continue working throughout the school year. He would advise younger students, however, to “have a first job during the summer when you have more free time. That way, you get used to it before trying to do both school and a job.”