Teens Learn to Work Double Time
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By Linda Lan Phung
As the summertime fades away into the beginning of a new school year, most Lamorinda teenagers decrease their frequent visits to their favorite movie theatre or ice cream shop. A few teens work here and go to school.

Eighteen-year-old Elizabeth Stein has been working at the Orinda Theatre since August 2011. Stein attained this job with the help of her brother, and, because she needs the money, she has a second job plus college.

To manage her time wisely, Stein says, “I use a calendar to write down all of my important dates, which helps me keep a good schedule.” Keeping track of a schedule is vital for Stein, especially since her shifts vary from six to eight hours.

Other teenagers have learned to balance their life as a student and employee. Recent Miramonte High School graduate Celeste Jett has been working at the Orinda Loard’s Ice Cream and Candy shop for two years. Jett wanted to support herself at an early age, and applied during her sophomore year.
Jett took a different approach to juggling work with her studies, making it a priority to complete her homework before working – whether or not her shift starts in the morning or afternoon. Along with learning better time management, Jett hopes to pick up other important life skills from her job.

“I want to learn good people skills, smart money management, and organization,” said Jett. Teenagers have trouble finding work since there aren’t many opportunities offered. Jett and Stein are two of the lucky teenagers who succeeded in securing a job in Lamorinda. There aren’t many stores who hire teenagers under the age of 18, especially if the commitment isn’t long-term. Susan Marconi, manager of Across the Way in Moraga, commented, “Parents aren’t supporting the independently owned stores in Moraga, so it’s hard to hire teenagers because we don’t have the money or business to pay them.”

Nonetheless, finding a job isn’t impossible, but working part-time while going to school is no easy feat. It’s challenging to squeeze work into a rigorous schedule of school and extracurricular activities. Teenagers who plan on managing these two tasks must realize that it requires patience, maturity, and responsibility. Jett and Stein agree. Wise time management is vital.

Linda Lan Phung is a Miramonte High School junior who volunteers throughout the East Bay and strives for 17-second miracles, inspired by author Jason Wright.


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