Considerations for High School Students Working after School

Our kids worked during their high school years. One evolved into such a success story that my telling it would make any parents jump up at this moment and kick their teens out the door to get a job!

Our child (I won’t identify the gender) proved to excel in writing during junior and senior years. Writing for school publications created a portfolio that my child, age 16, took around to several radio and TV stations. A non-paying after-school job was offered, and for more than a year, the proud parents tuned in each afternoon to hear the wonderful words and voice. With experience came a more professional quality to the voice and writing content.

On graduation from high school, the child was accepted by the communications departments of several colleges. After some discussions with a school counselor, an Ivy League university was chosen. We parents gasped at the tuition costs, but when our child qualified for a grant, the costs came down to almost reasonable. Now a college student, our child got good grades and attempted to get after-class work on one of the nearby radio or TV stations. Nothing was available, so our child settled for working at a grocery store while keeping up good grades.

Graduating cum laude in three-and-a-half years, our 20-year-old child’s updated portfolio of writing and other creative projects resulted almost immediately in a job offer with an afternoon TV talk show. Since that time, our child has worked for several similar TV programs, and is now a writer-producer on one of the most popular network TV shows.

Do you think that example answers the question: should a high school student work after school?