Help wanted

Getting a job at 15 isn’t exactly easy. Most establishments hire at 16, at the youngest. And when dad’s just lost his job and mom’s making minimum wage, the pressure builds to help support your faltering family.


Perseverance pays when rock picking

The only job I’ve had was rock picking for one of my dad’s old friends from high school. When I rock pick I have to get up at about 6 a.m. and walk through the fields until about noon.

If you’re going to rock pick you need to be able to deal with the heat because this is something that you do in the middle of the summer when it is very hot.

Baling hay can feel like being tortured with needles


Patience with mean manager pays off


Gas station job an education in spending choices


Despite all precautions, sometimes flies get in the deli case


March Your Turn runners up

Your essays for our March Your Turn on life lessons learned on the job revealed that working teaches you about more than just practical things. From being a teacher’s aide to a deaf toddler to working at a gas station, area teens are learning profound truths through employment.

March Your Turn Winner: Working with what you've got

I have worked every summer since I can remember growing vegetables, tending to them and selling them.

I am Hmong. When my family arrived in the U.S. we had close to nothing. With help, my parents were able to buy a plot of land and work it, and sold produce at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

I dreaded summer. It was supposed to be a break from school, a time to run around and have fun, but for me and my older siblings it meant waking up at 6 a.m. and laboring in the heat.

List of volunteering opportunities

Check out this list of volunteer opportunities.

Volunteering can pay off

As we get closer to the end of the school year, many teens are considering volunteering as an alternative to jobs.

Opinion: Tap into skills you already have to earn money

If you’ve been job hunting lately, you know that the days of easily getting a job at Walgreens are over for a while. In fact, teens are even fighting to get jobs like flipping burgers at McDonald’s – a job that no one used to want.

In an economy like this one, many teens are using skills they already have – like babysitting, mowing lawns and more – to make money.

Do you have a job?

I can't find one -- tell us about your search
I don't need one
I do stuff like babysit and mow lawns
Other -- share with us what you do to make money

Teen job market worst on record

As summer approaches, the teen job market is one of the worst on record and teens are not having an easy time finding employment.

“Last year, the teen employment rate for the summer months was one of the worst for teens on record: 32.8 percent of teens were employed last summer, compared to 45 percent in 2000. That’s two million less teens. Unfortunately, this summer’s teen employment rate is projected to be even worse than last year’s,” said Joe McLaughlin, a senior research associate at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, which studies the teen job market.


Education teaches former child maid to speak out

Mardia Hahmed only went to school until fifth grade in Ethiopia. In order to help her family, she had to quit school and work as a maid for people she says treated her like an animal.

She was expected to do every thing in the house: housekeeping, cooking, taking care of the children, taking care of their livestock — like goats, cows, horses and sheep. She also washed clothes by hand, using water which she carried on her back a long distance from a river.

“I was working a long time without resting. I didn’t have a chance to sleep on a bed, which I always wish. They don’t let me eat my meal the same time they eat. I have to eat after they eat and I have to work the whole night unless I finish my job,” Hahmed said.

Your Turn -- excerpts from essays on effect on teens during economic downturn

There were so many compelling examples of how teens are being affected during this economic downturn that we wanted to create a list of excerpts from their essays to share with you.

A good friend of mine has been playing volleyball for years. She usually plays club volleyball and gets way better than the rest of us. She is a great athlete with potential to do some amazing things on the court. This year when I texted her to see what team she made, she answered that she didn’t try out. I was so confused that I personally called her and asked if she had misspelled something. The star of our team last year was not playing volleyball so that her family could save money. – Siri Keller, 15, Southwest High School

When gas started dropping me and my friends would scream and high five each other when we drove past a gas station and saw that gas was down to $2.75. – Heather Thomas, 17, Faribault Senior High

At my job I have noticed that the auto repair business is slow. I worry a little that my hours, if business got slow again, would be cut back like it was for about 5 months last year into this year. But I think that if I had the chance to give up my job for someone who needs a job to support their family, I would gladly do so. – Christen Hildebrandt, 18, Faribault Senior High

Your Turn November winners

ThreeSixty received 120 entries for its November Your Turn contest that asked teens what impact the economic downturn is having on them. Teens are definitely being affected and are changing the way they think. Many mentioned realizing they don’t need so much stuff, clothing or even much wanted Play Station 3 game system. Even more are worried about paying for college and the majority of you are looking for your first, second and even third jobs to help out your families and save for your education. From home foreclosure, to having to move in to cramped quarters with a relative, this economic downturn is being felt by the majority of you.

This month’s Your Turn winner is Anna Bertel from Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Anna’s single-income family recently moved in with her grandmother and Anna and her mother are now sharing a bedroom. Anna is keeping her head up and counting her blessings, but admits she wakes every day not knowing what it will bring.

See video

VIDEO: At-risk youth now on track to become lawyer

Richard Terrell, 21, was the kind of junior high student that was more interested in fighting than studying. But with the support of his grandparents, who fostered him and his siblings, and other strong support, Terrell didn’t fall prey to the troubles that claim so many at-risk youth. Today, he works multiple jobs, including an internship at a prestigious law firm in downtown Minneapolis, and dreams of one day becoming a judge.

Lessons from the Great Depression made fresh

“As a matter of fact we have a depression now because of all the credit consumers borrowed. In other words, consumers spent more than their income and they borrowed the rest. It came home to roost.” — Milt Hansburg, 96.


What happens at all those parties?

With a Republican National Convention in town this week, there were hundreds of different receptions and parties all across the Twin Cities. Most of them were closed to the public. What really goes on inside one of these receptions? Members of the ThreeSixty Journalism staff were recently invited to attend a reception held by Best Buy at the Minnesota History Museum in St. Paul. Here’s what we learned.

Teens find summer jobs as artists

Summer generally includes lots of sunshine, lots of spare time, and lots of job applications for many teens. Reluctantly, teens often turn to frying foods and selling shirts to earn money.

Fortunately for some creative teens an alternative to the fast food and retail routines exists with ArtsWork, a youth employment program developed by COMPAS, a local arts education organization.

ArtsWork hires aspiring young artists during the summer to create pieces of art to sell. Apprentice work ranges from performances, like theatre and dance, to photography, painting, mosaics and more.

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