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The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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Taking a look at where Foothill Tech’s Class of 2025 is working

Julia Brossia
Ryan Alderman ’25 stands in front of the spring section at Trader Joe’s with a smile on her face. Throughout her shift, she can be seen carrying out a variety of tasks like bagging, stocking and helping customers, which allows her to have a great time at her job while she converses with a variety of people.

From fast food restaurants to clothing shops, many upperclassmen of Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) are including part-time jobs at a variety of workplaces in their balance of academics and extracurriculars. Although jobs can be a difficult and sometimes unwanted endeavor, these six juniors all have learned to balance their workload and find the benefit in holding a part-time job.

Trader Joe’s: Ryan Alderman ‘25

Ryan Alderman has been working at Trader Joe’s for six months. Due to the store’s friendly staff and lighthearted atmosphere, Alderman describes it as an ideal work environment, especially for high school students. “[Coworkers and managers] are always checking in on you to make sure you’re doing ok, and everyone is friends with each other which is so awesome,” said Alderman. After some trial and error, Alderman, who plays tennis for Foothill Tech, has been able to strike a perfect balance between school, sports and work. “School and sports is a little tricky, but after the first month of working at Trader Joe’s, I had it all dialed in,” she shared. She did this by building her weekly work schedule around her classes and taking into account which days she would have lots of homework, and or the ones where she would have less on her plate. 

While working at Trader Joe’s, Alderman does various tasks, including bagging, stocking shelves and talking to customers, which is her favorite part of the job. “It’s so fun, my job is literally to talk to people. I tell [customers] which products are good and when we’re getting things back in stock.” She also appreciates the relaxed environment of the store, and specifically the flexibility of work uniforms. “Our uniforms are great because it’s just a tee shirt. You can wear whatever pants you want, whatever shoes you want, it’s so laid back. The environment is so happy, the people are so kind and it’s just such a fun, bright environment that I feel everyone, especially high schoolers, should be in.” 

Forest Home: Eloise Avery ‘25

Eloise Avery has been working at Forest Home for almost three years and enjoys the more non-conventional setting for her first job: A summer camp in Ojai, Calif. Founded in 1937, Forest Home is a Christian sleepaway camp with one of its five California locations based in Ojai. At Forest Home, Avery provides “continuous hospitality to guest groups” and acts as the “primary contact and liaison for group leadership,” helping all guests from across the state to feel right at home during their retreat in the Ojai Valley Camp. Avery particularly enjoys the “tight-knit community” of the camp, and being able to get to know her coworkers better while also working outside and in a more fluid environment. 

While working and maintaining your academics can be difficult, Avery stated that it’s, “admittedly easy to do so,” as her job is very flexible with her schedule as a full-time student often allowing her to work on weekends and through the summertime, Forest Homes busiest season. Avery began working at Forest Home initially to save up for the down payment on her car, but since achieving that goal she has put all of her earnings towards, “investing once [she turns] 18 and, of course, to pay for gas.”

Hollister: Hannah Bell ‘25

Hannah Bell ’25 folds a variety of jeans, keeping the area clean at Hollister. She has many different responsibilities at her job, including stocking, folding and working the register. (Julia Brossia)

Seasonal jobs are an option that many high school students find appealing because it allows them to work for shorter periods of time during the busier months without being tied down for the rest of the year. Hannah Bell has been working at Hollister in the Pacific View Mall for around three months now. Originally searching for a short-term job, Bell decided to work seasonally at Hollister. However, she grew to enjoy her job and now works as a year-round employee. Her job includes a multitude of tasks, such as working the register, stocking and folding clothes. 

Bell enjoys her job for many reasons, including the light-hearted environment and flexibility of the schedule. “It’s easy and stress-free,” Bell stated. Being in a variety of AP and Honors classes, as well as the Bioscience Academy, Bell has grappled with managing both school and work. Fortunately, she found that her work schedule and her schoolwork don’t overlap too much. “I like how [Hollister’s] schedules are flexible because they know I’m a student, so I’m never stressed out about work and school at the same time.” She went on to explain how, “if you have a test the next day, a lot of the workers are willing to take over for you.” Bell enjoys this flexibility, as well as the income she earns and her kind coworkers. 

Kumon: Rhea Gill ‘25

Some students have chosen to venture beyond retail and hospitality positions by working with kids in educational settings, such as Rhea Gill, who works at Kumon. Gill has only been working at Kumon for a month, but in this short amount of time, she has already fostered a newfound love for her job and the tasks associated with it. “Typically, I’m grading the homework packets and sometimes I’ll help the kids with their reading or math. I love working with kids because they have such beautiful minds and they’re so optimistic and they truly make my day so much better.” Earning money is a common incentive for many high school students to get a job, Gill included. However, after reflecting on the experience of working at Kumon, she notes, “I wanted a job initially for money, but now I just love it so much.” Gill can find balancing school and work a little difficult, especially during high-pressure times like finals, but she finds that prioritizing her commitments has helped her to stay on top of everything. “When school gets really busy, I have to sometimes step back from certain things, especially if it’s not like a solid commitment that I need to go. If I had advice for anyone, I’d say … really think about where you want to spend your energy because you don’t want to waste your time.” 

Blenders in the Grass: Liam Macario ‘25

Liam Macario works at Blenders in the Grass (Blenders), a smoothie shop located in Ventura. Macario has been working at Blenders for five months and enjoys working on the registers and being able to interact with the customers. Blenders employ many high school students, so Macario particularly enjoys it when he gets to work with his fellow classmates. Macario shared that, “balancing sports and having work can be challenging” as there are a, “decent amount of late nights during the school week” and now rarely has extra free time. However, he does like being able to make some extra money and build up savings for “rainy days.” He also shared, that his work schedule can be forgiving, working primarily on weekends, leaving his weekdays to basketball practice and homework assignments.

Although having more free time can be appealing, Macario primarily works to save his own money and have some sense of autonomy over it, enjoying that he gets to earn and work for his money rather than being given it. In addition, Macario sees the benefit in having a job as he can “learn valuable skills” that will be applicable in many other aspects of his life, “even if it is just at a smoothie shop.” Overall Macario enjoys working at Blenders and, while it can be difficult to balance school, work and sports, he ultimately sees the benefit in holding a job at such an age. 

Domino’s: Christophe Issa ‘25

Christophe Issa has been working at Domino’s for three months now, with multiple responsibilities such as making pizzas and taking carry-outs. As one of the most popular fast-food pizza chains, the restaurant usually gets a lot of business. Despite being busy, Issa described his job as being, “pretty easy, mainly consisting of cleaning and making pizzas.” In his time working at Domino’s, he has grown to enjoy and appreciate his job for a variety of reasons.

As a player on Foothill Tech’s Boys’ soccer team, Issa has learned how to manage his time balancing school, extracurriculars and his job. “It can get stressful sometimes, but as long as I try to manage my time as best as possible, it’s not too bad,” he explained. For Issa, the positives of having a part-time job outweigh the negatives. From the long-term savings and investments with the money he earns to the candid everyday moments he experiences in the shop, he finds many reasons to enjoy his job. “I like that I can earn my own money to spend and save for the future,” he stated. Additionally, Issa finds joy in rolling the pizza dough and his everyday interactions with customers.  

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About the Contributors
Julia Brossia
Julia Brossia, Writer
Second-year writer, Swiftie and opossum lover.
Beatrice Barnes
Beatrice Barnes, Writer
Your average vegetarian who loves the outdoors and runs for fun.
Amber Duhs
Amber Duhs, Writer
Second-year writer, chai latte lover and autumn enthusiast.

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