summertime jobs for tweens and teens
Tweens & Teens

Summertime Jobs For Tweens And Young Teens

Finding the right summertime jobs for tweens and teens.

While caviar dreams may be farfetched, tweens and teens can earn some decent spending money this summer. But summer employment’s rewards go beyond the monetary. Kids get off the couch, learn money management, and build essential, lifelong skills, says Andrea Kuhn, a counselor who works at Fisher High School on the West Bank. She says that children as young as nine can benefit from summertime work.

Age has its privileges

Kids 13 and older have a wider range of summer employment opportunities they can explore, working at camps, family businesses, or even with a number of non-profits who have committed to hiring youth. Mayor Landrieu’s summer program—NOLA Youth Works—is designed for Orleans Parish youth ages 13 and up to provide them with summer work experiences in safe, structured and properly supervised environments. Applications were due in April, but you can check out the program to see if there are any extensions; at the very least, keep it in mind for next year.

Other opportunities for older children include working at seasonal businesses—like a snowball stand or a snack bar at a club or park—to more “traditional” summertime jobs like a junior camp counselor, which is what Christopher Pratt of River Ridge did three years ago  at age 14. He enjoyed the work, and his mom Andrea Delaughter says that the entire experience taught him to be responsible.

An entrepreneurial spirit

While older teens have more “traditional” summer employment opportunities in New Orleans, younger children can earn some decent summer cash. It may take a little more effort, but with parental guidance and some ingenuity, children can have a very profitable summer.

Four years ago, when he was 13, Benji Creel started raising and selling baby chickens. The young entrepreneur launched his business after going to Jefferson Feed and Garden Center with his dad one day and learning that the owner was looking for a supplier of baby chicks. The Garden District youth is responsible for his entire enterprise—from putting the eggs into the incubators to delivering the chicks. The only assistance he receives is transportation to and from the feed store. Last summer, he made $2,000.

If you don’t have a hen house out back, there are still many opportunities for your child to earn money this summer. One way to come up with ideas is to think about what services you have needed in summers’ past. Weeding the garden? Or someone to watch your pet?  They’re great opportunities. Of course, with pet-sitting, you should make sure that the pets are safe to be around and that your child is capable of caring for them.

Babysitting is another great way for mature children to earn extra money. “It’s a job where a parent’s assessment of their child’s maturity level is very important,” says Kuhn.  Potential sitters should enroll in a training program, like the Junior League of New Orleans and the Parenting Center’s Safe Sitters.

Safety first

As a parent, your child’s safety is always top concern. Evaluate the environment your child would be working in, and make sure you know and are comfortable with whomever your child is working for.

by Krystral Cooper Christen

more info on summertime jobs for tweens and teens

Entrepreneurial jobs for kids

Baby sitter. Enroll your child in a training class for experience and to make her more “employable.” Check out Safe Sitter (for boys & girls 11-13) at the Junior League of New Orleans.

Pet walker/sitter. Make sure you know the family, and that your child knows and is comfortable with the pet.

Lawn & garden care. Weed lawns and/or gardens, pick up after dogs, or for teens, mow lawns.

Odd jobs. Wash and groom dogs, or be a “mother’s helper” (help take care of children while a parent is at home but otherwise occupied).

Creativity. Put your child’s talents and interests to work, like having her offer “friendship bracelet making” classes to younger kids in the neighborhood, or painting faces at kids’ parties.



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