Dave DugdaleKentucky Youth Advocates is sharing a series of blogs from GEAR UP Appalachia, GEAR UP Promise Neighborhood students in Eastern Kentucky. We know that youth in Kentucky are key to creating positive change for kids, and their leadership galvanizes other youth, parents, educators, community leaders, and legislators. In the Kentucky Youth Speak Up series, GEAR UP students advocate for policies, encourage other youth to serve their communities, promote strategies for student success, and motivate all of us to build the best commonwealth for Kentucky kids.

By Kayla McKinney

Summer is here and many teenagers are looking for a summer job, but there are still those that feel that they do not need one. Some are too busy with sports, summer camps, etc… but some just don’t have an interest in working. Whatever your reason for not wanting a job, there are numerous reasons to reconsider. A summer job is an excellent way to learn several new skills and put a little extra cash in your pocket.  I have listed three reasons why a summer job is worth the work:

1. You will learn the value of a dollar. I believe we all get a little too comfortable spending our parents’ money, but it is safe to say mommy and daddy will not always be there to hand everything to you. There comes a time when you have to grow up and support yourself. A summer job is a great way to learn where money comes from, how to manage your money, and how to track what you spend.

2. You will learn time management. Having a job will take a lot away from your free time. Sometimes this is a good thing because it limits the time you have to go out and party and/or get in trouble. When you have a job, you are expected to be there at a certain time, and lateness is not tolerated; needless to say you learn to be on time. Learning how to manage time is also a good thing because you learn how to get things done quickly and effectively. You learn to plan and prioritize and put more important matters ahead of not-so-important matters.

3. Building a résumé. When applying for a job, a college, or a scholarship, there is always going to be loads of competition. Competition is a good thing because it makes us strive to do our best and want to stand out. Having legitimate work experience is a great way to build your résumé and stay ahead of the game. An extensive résumé shows that you are responsible and are willing to work to obtain what you want. The more experience you have, the better!

Getting a summer job is one of the best ways to learn responsibility and other important skills that will help you later on in life. Joining the workforce early is great for helping with the transition to adulthood. Growing up and maturing is definitely a scary thing for all of us, but gaining some real world experience makes it a lot easier!


About GEAR UP Appalachia, GEAR UP Promise Neighborhood

GEAR UP, or Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. The program follows a cohort of students from 6th grade to their freshman year in college and emphasizes academic success, career preparation, and building a college-going culture in schools. Berea College has been awarded multiple grants to serve students from 17 southeastern Kentucky counties and 19 school districts: Bell County, Berea Community, Breathitt County, Clay County, Estill County, Garrard County, Jackson County, Jackson Independent, Knott County, Knox County, Laurel County, Lee County, Leslie County, Madison County, Owsley County, Perry County, Powell County, Pulaski County, and Rockcastle County. GEAR UP serves more than 14,000 students and their families.