On the Job


Photo courtesy of Aleck Bratt

Elana Goldenberg

Juniors Aleck Bratt (left) and Sam Matsil enjoy working together at BurgerFi. Photo courtesy of Aleck Bratt

Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy (HBHA) students are in school for nearly eight hours a day. From 7:55 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. they learn math, Hebrew, and everything in-between. In a single week, the average student at HBHA spends at least 40 hours in this building, which, according to Jena McGregor of The Washington Post (“The average work week is now 47 hours”), is only seven less than the average adult work week. Once the school day ends, HBHA high school students can expect no less than two hours of homework and studying every night. But what happens when students also want make money for themselves? High school students share that they can find the balance between school, work, and friends.

Junior Ella Pavin works at Suburban Lawn & Garden in Lenexa, Kan. Since April 2014, she has been helping Kansas City area residents improve their gardens by planting, selling, and delivering various plants. Pavin loves working at Suburban because she “get[s] to help people and answer any questions they have.” Working is rewarding for her, as she earns money for herself each week while still having time to maintain a social life. “They’re really flexible,” she added, “so I never feel like I’m working too much.” She did reveal, though, that the greatest perk of all was getting to ride the golf carts.

Pavin is not the only member of the junior class with a part-time job. Both Aleck Bratt and Sam Matsil currently work at BurgerFi, a hamburger restaurant in Leawood, Kan. Matsil and Bratt spend their coveted time outside of school taking orders, bringing food to customers, and making frozen custard. Both have been working at BurgerFi since its opening six months ago and have found the experience to be a positive one.

Bratt admitted that the main advantage to being employed was “having money.” He added, “Not having to constantly ask my parents for cash is nice.” While Matsil agreed that being paid is great, like Pavin, he appreciated the flexibility of his work schedule. Matsil remarked, “I’m able to work when it’s convenient for me.” He added, “I even have time to play basketball since we have morning practices.”

Other high school students, however, find that having an after-school job is not so convenient. With the time commitments of basketball, United Synagogue Youth (USY), and copious amounts of homework, junior Adena Goldberg doesn’t “have time to add on a job.” She explained, “Basketball, USY, and homework take up so much time that the only way I can make money is by babysitting. During basketball season, this is especially hard because of Saturday night games and Sunday night practices.” She adds that a job would be “a beneficial experience” for her, but “there’s just not enough time in the day.”

Whether students have jobs or not, they all agree that the most vital thing to any student, even more important than earning money or focusing on school, is effective time management.