Daniel Pearl Magnet High School senior Samantha Mills interns at MVP Law Group during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Samantha Mills)
Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

Working students show resilience during pandemic

Junior Antonio Bedon has been working hard at California Pizza Kitchen as a host despite the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic has progressed, he has also taken on the additional responsibility of being a busser.

“Now, with the pandemic, what I’ve had to do is be host and busser,” said Bedon, a staff writer for The Pearl Post. “Because of the pandemic, there’s less people working, so they try to save money in labor.”

Working during these unusual times has been both rewarding and stressful for students. Although places of business are taking precautions to protect staff, such as mandatory masks and social distancing, students are aware that the risk of contracting COVID-19 can’t be eliminated completely. Nevertheless, the pandemic hasn’t stopped students from working and earning money.

“When I’m behind the host stand, I have plexiglass in front of me and I wear a mask,” Bedon, who has worked at California Pizza Kitchen for a month said. “But sometimes people walk in without a mask or they wear their mask under their nose, so I make sure to remind them to wear their mask correctly.”

Due to his job in customer service at Chick-Fil-A for the past three months, senior Jair Sanchez is often concerned about COVID-19.

“I do get scared sometimes,” said Sanchez, a staff writer for The Pearl Post. “I wear a mask all the time and I take precautions, but it is pretty scary because I’m interacting with so many people.”

On top of possible safety concerns, students with jobs also have to balance schoolwork and their job responsibilities. Senior Samantha Mills, an intern at MVP Law Group, understands the importance of time management.

“I work (in the office) only three days a week after school,” 17-year-old Mills said. “It’s a little difficult, especially since I work on college applications on top of school and work, but I manage fine I think.”

Senior Thomas Taglang has been working through the pandemic running his own power washing business since early August. Unlike many other businesses, his business is doing well during the pandemic.

“Right now it’s just a side thing, but my goal is to ramp up advertising,” 17-year-old Taglang said. “That’s how I’m getting my clients. Since COVID, a lot of restaurants have outdoor dining, so I want to get a schedule with them and wash their outdoor patios.”

For Taglang, COVID-19 hasn’t been a threat to his business because his work does not involve much interaction.

“Well, I wear a mask always,” Taglang said. ”Other than that, I don’t have too much contact with my clients. I just come over, explain to them what I’m going to do, do it and get paid.”

This pandemic has been difficult for many, but it has also shown the resilience of working students.

“I was kind of nervous at first, but then I got to know who I was working with and realized I’m pretty isolated most of the time,” Mills, who goes to the office for her internship in person said. “This helped me relax a bit.”