Summer provides job opportunities for students
Hillsboro eighth-grader Carter Hamm started his lawn mowing business midway through 2018 and now sees it as his calling.
“Going into eighth grade, I feel like I want to do that,” he said. “I’ve found the thing that’s good for me. I’m good at it and enjoy it.”
Marion junior Brandon Lange also sees the long-term potential of mowing.
“I think this could be a long-term thing,” he said. “Not just a summer job but possibly after.”
The two embraced the business after seeing how much it helps people.
“There are a lot elderly people in our town and they’re not always capable of going out to mow,” Carter said. “I just wanted to make the city of Hillsboro look nice, so I’d go out to mow, and make a bit of money.”
He regularly mows 6 to 8 lawns, which takes 10 to 20 hours a week.
“I set a maximum of 10 permanent yards so it wouldn’t take my whole day,” Carter said. “It’ll only take half the day if I mow every yard and I have the other half to hang out with friends.”
While Brandon’s friends work at grocery stores or auto shops, he maintains 15 lawns around Marion.
“I can do all 15 in one day if I really hustle,” he said. “Then I have six days to myself, or I can do a couple every day.”
Brandon has an affinity for math, but he says he uses a program to keep track of expenses.
“I don’t have to enjoy math to do all this,” he said. “I just use free software online and it takes care of the rest.”
Brandon’s expenses go beyond paying for gas. He also bought yard signs to advertise, and rents a pair of riding mowers.
“I had to do research on pricings, and factor in expenses for advertising and equipment,” he said.
A job at Animal Health Center gives hands-on knowledge of animal care.
The business doesn’t seek out students going into the veterinary field, but they pick up that knowledge along the way.
Instead of deskwork, they do mainly janitorial and kennel work, so having students intrinsically motivated is important, receptionist Robin Pritz said.
“It’s kids who love animals and are go-getters,” she said. “They can be told what is expected, and then they just go do it.”
Working puts money in students’ pockets and gives them something a way to stay out of trouble, Peabody-Burns senior Jordan Pope said.
Jordan mainly works during the weekends, but that keeps him busy, out of trouble, and able to save money.
“Most of it goes to the future, like another job, a car, or college,” he said.
For Pope, who works at Peabody Market, having friends at work is helpful.
While he’s the only high schooler employed there, he said it helped knowing other workers when he applied.