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Teens searching for summer jobs help boost local economy

Posted at 7:01 AM, Mar 19, 2024

KILLEEN, Texas — Soon students will wave goodbye to the classroom and leave for summer break.

Local teens like Kameron Lucious want to use the extra time to get to work.

“I have a lifestyle where I want to live freely and I want to travel and stuff,” Kameron said.

The Chaparral High School student said he has applied to Plato’s Closet and several other businesses hoping to land his first job.

“When you finally get that email or call back it’s gonna be very exciting. You’re gonna be willing to go in there and work your hardest. Do what you can do,” Kameron said.

Local coffee shops like Dutch Bros said it’s an exciting time for them too—they lose several college students during the summer and local highschoolers help fill the void.

Jackson Luckin is the Waco-Temple operator for Dutch Bros.

“We always find that great weekend availability and night shifts. We’re open till 10 p.m. on the weekdays and 11 p.m. on the weekends. It’s always nice to have young highschoolers and college kids that are down to work those and work the busy weekend shift,” Luckin said.

Charley Ayres with Workforce Solutions of Central Texas said several retail jobs are paying $13 to $15 an hour, which may not look appealing to adults, but for highschoolers it’s all the rage.

“Students can be a pretty good chunk of change because the cost of living is still relatively cheap in this area. So that serves us well. Right now since there are more jobs than there are people employers are still kind of having to pay a premium to get folks in the door,” Ayres said.

Kameron could also find him a job that would let him stay on throughout the school year, but before that happens he’ll have to get approval from his current boss—his mom.

“Academics come first. If we see his grades are slipping then the things that come secondary will be taken away,” Kameron’s mom Stefanie Hooper said.

Kameron said getting this job will make him focus more on his grades and continue to be a role model for his younger brother and sisters.

“That’s a role that I have to play be a leader to them. I’ll have to show them what a good big brother is and good citizen should be like. Always be present in their lives. Always being there for them,” Kameron said.

He said he plans on using his money to buy shoes and clothes and also to save up so he can have some money just in case emergencies.