For many high school students, June marks the beginning of summer job season. These work experiences offer teenagers a great opportunity to leave home, make extra cash, and gain new experiences. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, however, this summer has seen many changes to the typical summer job, including new risks, such as getting the virus or passing it on to someone at a higher risk. We have also seen controversy arise regarding the safety of teens working in the summer; especially those working as essential workers such as grocery store clerks or those working in fast food. 

Lilly Remondi ’23 started her job at Papa Gino’s in early July of this year. She found the job to be a great way for her to make money and her parents encouraged the idea, believing it’d be a great way for her to get out of the house. Lily saw her job implement safety precautions such as mandatory mask-wearing and removal of indoor dining and deemed it a safe environment for her to begin work. In working at Papa Gino’s, Lily learned values she can take with her into life including adapting to change and making the best of difficult situations. 

“A lot of people who don’t have jobs during the pandemic don’t appreciate the people working during these times as much as they should and people are just really disrespectful when we are doing our best with what we have,” Lily shares.

Camilla Breckon ’23 was also a CA student who had a summer job this year. In early July, Breckon worked as a park monitor for the Rhode Island State Parks. Camilla worked to clean structures and give out masks for the safety of the park goers. Similar to Lily, Camilla started her job as a way to earn money during the summer. At times, Camilla was fearful for the well being of herself and park-goers, as sometimes younger kids were not fully respecting social distancing guidelines, or some individuals refused to wear masks. During her time working in the park, Camilla saw the importance of helping her community and keeping safe. “If you have the opportunity to help people out in these unprecedented times,” she said, “you should do so.”

Anton Crawford ‘23 began his job at Brother’s Marketplace grocery store in January of 2020 before the pandemic had hit Massachusetts. In the earlier portions of his time there, Anton was working two days a week on weekends. When the pandemic hit, however, he became an essential worker and saw an increase in weekly hours. Being that the earlier stages of the pandemic had many Americans packing grocery stores in the rise of “panic buying” it is understandable Anton experienced fear for his well-being. Thankfully, Brother’s Marketplace – as well as many other establishments- put safety measures and guidelines into effect promptly. The job allowed Anton to understand the importance of precautions during times of crisis as well as the importance of perseverance.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been an undeniably stressful and worrying time for teens. To see individuals like Lily, Camilla and Anton find silver linings during these uncertain times and view their pandemic jobs as learning experiences is refreshing and is a wonderful tale of just the attitude CA students have when given rough situations.