April Your Turn winner

These days, a lot of kids are less concerned about living out their youth and more concerned with racing toward maturity. Enjoying the time you have while you have it is no longer as important as reaching your goals, only so you can make new goals. This practice forms a recurring cycle in one’s life: to satisfy the task at hand only to create new expectations, never quite reaching fulfillment.

Patience with mean manager pays off


Gas station job an education in spending choices


Teens cut spending. Parents help out.

Teens have cut their spending on clothes by 14 percent since this time last year, and younger teens have slashed their clothing budgets by nearly a fifth, according to a Star Tribune report on national survey of teens released Wednesday by Minneapolis-based Piper Jaffray & Co. But parents continue to shield their children from the brunt of the recession.

March Your Turn runners up

Your essays for our March Your Turn on life lessons learned on the job revealed that working teaches you about more than just practical things. From being a teacher’s aide to a deaf toddler to working at a gas station, area teens are learning profound truths through employment.

March Your Turn Winner: Working with what you've got

I have worked every summer since I can remember growing vegetables, tending to them and selling them.

I am Hmong. When my family arrived in the U.S. we had close to nothing. With help, my parents were able to buy a plot of land and work it, and sold produce at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.

I dreaded summer. It was supposed to be a break from school, a time to run around and have fun, but for me and my older siblings it meant waking up at 6 a.m. and laboring in the heat.

Opinion: Tap into skills you already have to earn money

If you’ve been job hunting lately, you know that the days of easily getting a job at Walgreens are over for a while. In fact, teens are even fighting to get jobs like flipping burgers at McDonald’s – a job that no one used to want.

In an economy like this one, many teens are using skills they already have – like babysitting, mowing lawns and more – to make money.

Do you have a job?

I can't find one -- tell us about your search
I don't need one
I do stuff like babysit and mow lawns
Other -- share with us what you do to make money

Teen job market worst on record

As summer approaches, the teen job market is one of the worst on record and teens are not having an easy time finding employment.

“Last year, the teen employment rate for the summer months was one of the worst for teens on record: 32.8 percent of teens were employed last summer, compared to 45 percent in 2000. That’s two million less teens. Unfortunately, this summer’s teen employment rate is projected to be even worse than last year’s,” said Joe McLaughlin, a senior research associate at the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston, which studies the teen job market.


Teens making "conservative" college choices in struggling economy

High school senior Andi Akpe wanted to spend his next four years at a racially diverse college, but then the economy crashed.

“I personally just really wanted to go to a college that had, you know, flavor! But with the price of tuition going up and everything, I knew my focus would have to be on the cost,” Akpe said.

Do your own taxes free on-line

I learned that filing taxes isn’t as hard as many think. For teens, it’s easier than for most adults who have deductions or are filing jointly.

All you have to do is to grab your W2 forms and go onto the e-filing services on the IRS Web site

Teens learning to expect stock market crashes, understanding global role of U.S. economy

The U.S. economy has taken a turn for the worse. The stock market plummeted, while unemployment rates rose dramatically. Adults are going through difficulties financially, so how are teens faring?

“So far it’s just the little things that have gotten cut out,” said Eric Zager, a junior at Woodbury High School. “You know, like the everyday luxuries. (For example) with Christmas… my extended family and my family aren’t really exchanging gifts this year.”

Katherine Du, a sophomore at Math and Science Academy in Woodbury, is in a similar situation. “We tend to spend more time clipping coupons and being more aware of what we do, like turn off the lights when we’re not in, or turning off the water,” she said. “We’re just more aware of where the money goes.”

Ian Taylor, a sophomore at Woodbury High School, feels that for him, nothing has changed at all. “The state of the economy has not really affected my lifestyle or decisions,” he said. “I come from a thrifty family that spends money sparingly anyway.”

Your Turn -- excerpts from essays on effect on teens during economic downturn

There were so many compelling examples of how teens are being affected during this economic downturn that we wanted to create a list of excerpts from their essays to share with you.

A good friend of mine has been playing volleyball for years. She usually plays club volleyball and gets way better than the rest of us. She is a great athlete with potential to do some amazing things on the court. This year when I texted her to see what team she made, she answered that she didn’t try out. I was so confused that I personally called her and asked if she had misspelled something. The star of our team last year was not playing volleyball so that her family could save money. – Siri Keller, 15, Southwest High School

When gas started dropping me and my friends would scream and high five each other when we drove past a gas station and saw that gas was down to $2.75. – Heather Thomas, 17, Faribault Senior High

At my job I have noticed that the auto repair business is slow. I worry a little that my hours, if business got slow again, would be cut back like it was for about 5 months last year into this year. But I think that if I had the chance to give up my job for someone who needs a job to support their family, I would gladly do so. – Christen Hildebrandt, 18, Faribault Senior High

Your Turn November winners

ThreeSixty received 120 entries for its November Your Turn contest that asked teens what impact the economic downturn is having on them. Teens are definitely being affected and are changing the way they think. Many mentioned realizing they don’t need so much stuff, clothing or even much wanted Play Station 3 game system. Even more are worried about paying for college and the majority of you are looking for your first, second and even third jobs to help out your families and save for your education. From home foreclosure, to having to move in to cramped quarters with a relative, this economic downturn is being felt by the majority of you.

This month’s Your Turn winner is Anna Bertel from Southwest High School in Minneapolis. Anna’s single-income family recently moved in with her grandmother and Anna and her mother are now sharing a bedroom. Anna is keeping her head up and counting her blessings, but admits she wakes every day not knowing what it will bring.

Your Turn -- Teens advise the new president on what youth need

September’s Your Turn writing contest asked teens to give their opinion on what the next president could do for American youth. Here is a collection of the advice they have for President Barack Obama.

Lessons from the Great Depression made fresh

“As a matter of fact we have a depression now because of all the credit consumers borrowed. In other words, consumers spent more than their income and they borrowed the rest. It came home to roost.” — Milt Hansburg, 96.


September Your Turn -- essay highlights

Several of September’s essays contained illuminating points about what teenagers care about right now. We liked them so much that we put together a list of their quotes.

I want Barack Obama to open the border for three reasons. First, most of the Latinos want jobs. Second they want a life that Mexico can’t give us. Third, Latinos are not criminals; we just want a better life for our kids such as education, jobs, and things like that. — Luis Pacheco, 14, Harding High School

September Your Turn contest winners

More than 120 students around the Twin Cities submitted essays to September’s Your Turn on what they would tell the presidential candidates about how they can help American youth. The responses were incredibly diverse and ranged from calls to end the war in Iraq, a solution to teen homelessness, and a request for an iPhone.
The winners this month were Global Warming by Rachel Mosca, Dear Mr. President by Claire Mahoney, Senority means nothing by Matteo Alampi, Hopes for the future by Chris Ulrich, and Asking Barack Obama to lower gas prices by Mai Der Yang

Teens driving less due to gas prices

You can feel it crawling up your spine when you’re standing at the gas pump and the numbers on the pump’s counter seem to roll on endlessly. You feel it when you’re driving and you’re too scared to glance at the gas gauge for fear of how far the needle has plunged.

Teens find summer jobs as artists

Summer generally includes lots of sunshine, lots of spare time, and lots of job applications for many teens. Reluctantly, teens often turn to frying foods and selling shirts to earn money.

Fortunately for some creative teens an alternative to the fast food and retail routines exists with ArtsWork, a youth employment program developed by COMPAS, a local arts education organization.

ArtsWork hires aspiring young artists during the summer to create pieces of art to sell. Apprentice work ranges from performances, like theatre and dance, to photography, painting, mosaics and more.

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