The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The student-run newspaper of the Liberal Arts and Science Academy

The Liberator

The Jobs of LASA Students

Local Job Opportunities for Teens

All students have to fill their free time, whether by playing a sport, participating in extracurriculars, or traveling over breaks. But for some LASA students, weekends and other days off from school are filled by a job that helps keep them busy and puts some extra money in their pockets.

For LASA junior Violet Mann, that is precisely the reason why she chose to work as a lifeguard for the City of Austin over the summer. She didn’t have many plans for her summer break, and her past experience with swimming allowed her to use her skills to make some extra money over the summer, with City of Austin positions paying at least $20 an hour.

“I decided to be a lifeguard because I had nothing better to do over the summer, and I figured that I would make some money,” Mann said. “I liked how relaxed everybody was. It was a really good environment. Everyone was nice and pretty chill.”

The City of Austin employed over 1,000 lifeguards and opened all 32 recreational pools in the city last summer. With some businesses enforcing age restrictions for employment, the large number of city lifeguard openings — minimum age 15 — gave many teens an opportunity.

“I would say [lifeguards] were probably between the ages of 16 and 18,” Mann said. “[It’s] mostly high school students.”

Beyond the responsibilities of watching the pool, lifeguards have to handle the weather. To many lifeguards, one of the challenges they face is the heat they must endure over the summer.

“It was so freaking hot,” Mann said. “I disliked the heat.”

To cope with the Texas heat, some coffee shops released special iced drinks to keep customers cooled off. The summer season also led to a job crunch; there are over 100 coffee shops in Austin looking for employees, according to Indeed. Junior Taylar Edgerton spends her free time working at one of these coffee shops, Neighbors.

“I think the most important thing I learned when working at Neighbors is confidence,” said Edgerton. “You have to be confident and brave when controlling and handling a situation. The best experience I had when working at Neighbors is with the people. Most of the interactions I have with the customers are always super positive and help get me through a long shift.”

For senior Ramona Gonzalez, who works as a hostess at Fresa’s Chicken al Carbon, having a job is all about the people she gets to meet and interact with. To her, Austin’s uniqueness as a city allows her to meet different, interesting people every day.

One of the most fun things was just the opportunities you get while hosting,” Gonzalez said. “[You] meet really interesting people.”

Working at a restaurant often requires you to deal with other people. Gonzalez believes that students should work at a job where they interact with customers, as it builds skills that you can’t get anywhere else.

I think that everyone needs to work either retail or at a restaurant,” Gonzalez said. “[They’ll] really learn important communication and just overall characteristics that they need to fulfill in order to be the best person they can be.”

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