The road to college
June usually marks the end of the school year and the start of summer break. Many teens have been vaccinated and those who are hoping to find summer jobs will not be disappointed. According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas (CGC), the summer of 2021 is shaping up to be a boon for teen job seekers, as it predicts teens will gain two million jobs.
In its summer job outlook forecast, CGC’s senior vice president Andrew Challenger said, “Retailers, quick-service restaurants, and amusement parks are looking for workers right now and many are having a hard time finding them, despite the 8.4 million Americans who are out of work. This summer, as vaccine numbers increase and regions see transmission rates go down, consumers will be ready to spend at retailers, restaurants, and amusement parks, as well as enroll their children in parks programs and summer camps, creating thousands of opportunities.”
CGC’s report included statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) estimate that roughly 25% of the population is fully vaccinated and almost 40% have received at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine as of April 19. Meanwhile, March retail sales surged 9.8%, nearly double what was predicted, likely due to the impact of the stimulus payments. Employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 280,000 and in eating and drinking places by 176,000, according to the latest employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This will only continue to go up as restrictions ease nationwide.
Moreover, CGC stated that summer jobs created for teens aged 16 to 19 years old soared to 2.2 million during the pandemic-induced recession last year, as the types of jobs created en masse last summer were those that traditionally go to teen workers.
While CGC didn’t have a rosy prediction about 2020 summer jobs, it reported that last summer saw a record-high 2,192,000 jobs gained by teens, a 26% increase from the 1,737,000 jobs gained by teenagers in the summer of 2019. The number of employed teens was down by over one million jobs from peak employment of 6,409,000 in July 2019 to 5,353,000 in July 2020. As of March 2021, 4,890,000 teens are employed, up from 4,811,000 in the same month last year.
The scheduled lifting of most restrictions on June 15, will also mean that there will be summer internships available. Encourage your children to call some of the local businesses or even go online to find one that speaks to their passion. A few internships in Southern California can be found on this website.
Additionally, as summer camps reopen, there will be more activities for your children this summer. Camps are a wonderful way for them to meet other kids or reunite with friends they hadn’t seen all year. If you didn’t manage to book a Tom Sawyer camp, check out your local schools’ summer offerings.
Enrichment programs are a fun and educational way for children to spend the summer months. Your local school most likely has an activity that’s appropriate for each age group and grade level; the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF) has an excellent program for PUSD students.
Some schools may have eliminated final exams and given pass or fail grades in lieu of the letter grades, which must have been a disappointment for straight-A students. But that shouldn’t deter them from continuing to get excellent grades because the student’s GPA is the single, most important component of their transcript. And with the UC system’s decision to drop the SATs and ACTs from their requirements, students’ GPAs have become ever more significant.
If your children can find summer enrichment activities, they should definitely pursue these. They also need to do a lot of reading to help them prepare for all the essays they will have to write when they start sending out their college application. Brianna Chu, a tutor at Mundo Academy, wrote a blog about essay writing that your children might find useful.
Your children’s end-of-year marks in 10th grade should have improved over last year’s if they didn’t do well in their freshman year. College admissions officers want to see students who continue to better themselves.
The school year that just ended was a pivotal one for your children as it will be the last full year that college admissions officers will see on your kids’ application. It should reflect your children’s efforts at getting the best marks they could muster, and an improvement over the first two years of high school.
This is going to be their busiest summer with standardized tests like the ACT, SAT, SAT IIs, and APs. If they have not seen the schools they are considering applying to, they might consider taking virtual tours.
Your children should start thinking about their personal statement and should have learned how to write compelling essays. They should be checking in with their school counselor to make sure they have taken all the required courses for graduation and college; and lining up teachers they would like to ask for recommendations.
Schools reopened for in-person learning in the last few months. If your children went back on campus, they were able to properly say goodbye to their teachers and friends. Some high schools held either virtual graduations or had ceremonies divided into small groups. I hope you attended their commencement rite and celebrated with your graduate.
Your children have accomplished a major milestone – successfully completing high school and getting accepted into a college or university! This period in their life will never again be repeated, so let them revel in what they have achieved. Give yourself a pat on the back while you’re at it; you deserve some credit in helping them get to this point.