Working 9 to 5

Klein students share their job experiences


Photo courtesy of Kylie Young

Senior Kylie Young works diligently on her commissioned digital artwork.


When most teenagers go off to work, it usually consists of long hours of taking fast food orders or folding clothes at a retail store. However, a lucky few high school students are able to use their talents and interests to make money while doing something they love. Junior Emma Anjo, who has worked as a swim instructor for little kids at Aqua Tots since May,  knows this well.

“I feel like working at a fast food place or a restaurant, It’s the same thing over and over,” Anjo said. “But where I work, it’s just crazy. It’s crazy, but it’s fun.”

Anjo works closely with kids of all ages in a closely-knit environment. Working with the kids allows her to form real relationships and feel accomplished when her students are doing well.

“My favorite part is bonding with the kids, because I just love how they all have their own personalities. You kinda get to see them grow as you have them longer and as they keep coming,” Anjo said. 

Sophomore Rebecca Taylor is a fellow instructor at Aqua Tots alongside Anjo. Although days at school can be stressful, working closely with kids is quite different from normal customer service jobs and can even provide stress relief. 

“The atmosphere is so welcoming, and it’s like a family. You get to know everybody, and you spend a lot of time with everybody,” Taylor said. “You’re around kids, you get to be all happy. So if you’re having a bad day, and you go to work, you can’t really be mad at the kids. It helps create a good energy.”

Alternatively, a working teen doesn’t have to have coworkers and managers. Senior Kylie Young, who runs a public Instagram account selling commissions of her artwork, has learned to be her own boss.

“I started the Instagram account when I was in sixth grade as a personal account, but then I made it into something much bigger,” Young said. “I wanted to be able to share the growth of my art, but it turned into not only that, but also something I can actually pursue.” 

With Young being able to set her own hours and schedule, she often opens commissions a few at a time when she has free time to work on them. Doing this allows her to focus on each one no matter the complexity and detail needed. 

“If I have a commission, I get to work on it ASAP. Most of my pieces take six to nine hours. I do take breaks if I need to, or I’ll finish it in one sitting,” Young said. 

By using more uncommon ways of making money, these teenagers can expose themselves to new experiences, skills, relationships and growth that they never would have had while at a normal customer service job. 

“From experience, this job has helped me grow as an individual,” Young said. “When people have less typical jobs, it creates an opening for the future, and I think that’s truly amazing.”