The Cat's Tale

The Student News Site of Canadian High School

The Cat's Tale

The Cat's Tale

Senior Jack Craft battled the massive Smokehouse Creek wildfire with the Locust Grove Volunteer Fire Department on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Photo provided by Jack Craft.
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March 8, 2024

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Students take on extra responsibilities with work practicums, after school jobs

With the constant state of economic insecurity and the increasing costs of food, clothing, housing, and college/school expenses, many students have chosen to take on jobs after school to have spending money, to help out their families or to save for life after high school. 

     According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, large numbers of high school and college students search for summer jobs during the months of April and July. Just recently in July of 2023, 20 percent of employed 16- to 24-year-olds worked in the leisure and hospitality industry and 13 percent worked in education and health services.

     At CHS, students work as both part of their school schedule in a work practicum and at after school jobs. The work practicum is offered to upperclassmen and provide a way to get hands on experience in a field they intend to study after graduation. Currently, there are 17 students participating in a work practicum.

Work Practicums

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Jacelyn Lane is employed by Ashley Morales and Ashley Clark and works at the Mesa View Senior Living for her practicum. Jacelyn’s job is to take care of the residents at the facility who are in need of assistance throughout their day. Some of these activities she helps with include ambulating, feeding, and brushing their teeth. Jacelyn explains the benefits while working in high school include “getting money to pay for expenses now and for the future” and learning the adulting rope, but most importantly, she “loves leaving school to see my residents.”  The only disadvantage Jacelyn listed is balancing her time from leaving school to go to work and coming back saying “its stressful.” When asked how she started working at the nursing home, she said, “My mom really wanted me to get a job there and I knew some friends working there.” Jacelyn ended up applying and said it’s been rewarding ever since. Jacelyn’s future plans include attending Fort Hays University to get her basics done then attend nursing school to become either an RN or BSN to either work in pediatrics or in the NICU. 

Christina Martinez is employed by Mesa View Senior Living for her practicum. Christina provides care for the residents by either “giving them showers, getting them dressed for the day, or feeding someone.” While working during high school, Christina said it has helped her gain a sense of responsibility for having to juggle her work and school at the same time. Although, one downside she explained is “it leaves not a lot of free time to be a teenager since it is your last year,” but there’s days it equals out. When asked how she began working at the nursing home, she said, “When I was younger, there was a time I was at the assisted living and I helped pick up a resident who fell when I wasn’t supposed to.” She said it was an instinct, but after that “I knew what I wanted to do.” Christina’s future plans are to attend a community college to get her basics done then transfer over to WT to become either an RN or a BSN.

Kinlee Dunbar currently works for Ashely Morales and Ashley Clark at the Mesa View Senior Living for her practicum. Kinlee helps take care of residents by providing help for their every day needs. Kinlee said she’s grateful for this opportunity because she “gets to fall in love with the residents you work with” as well as learning duties and hard work in a place that needs it. Although, she said having to balance both work and school at the same time could be difficult to do as “I never have time to go out and hang out with friends, because I’m always working.” When we asked why she started her practicum program she said her mom inspired her to work at the nursing home as she plans to follow her moms footsteps in becoming a nurse. Kinlee’s future plans are to attend WT and become an RN. 

Weston Connor currently works at the Rehabilitation and Therapy Services and is employed by Trent Flowers for his practicum. Weston sees patients in the out patient clinic and at the nursing home and gives exercises to help them depending on what the patient is struggling with. Weston said he is grateful for his job, because “I’m learning about more things so I can be a step ahead in college.” For Weston, he said there’s no downside about his job, because “I only have three class periods.” When asked why he started this career path he said his mom inspired him as she is the director of Physical Therapy and “I’ve had many injuries, so just being around PT has made me want to dive into it explore it for myself.” Weston’s future plans include going to Angelo State University to study exercise science and “hopefully become a doctor of PT and own my own clinic.”

Oscar Reyna currently works at Kirk Westbrook’s fabrication shop for his practicum. As for his everyday activities, Reyna states that his main projects include “welding, taking measurements, using power tools, and running heavy machinery like forklifts.” He says he’s grateful for the job because it provides networking opportunities as he shadows Westbrook throughout the day and is a good source of hands-on-learning. The only downside, he says, is that it is unpaid work. When asked about the process of getting into a practicum program, he said that “I’ve always been interested in blue-collar jobs, and just talked to Mr. Meier” before approaching Mrs. Thompson about his options. Reyna’s career goals include working on a pipeline and eventually owning and running a fabrication shop. 

Miranda Nunez, although she’s not currently working for her practicum, is studying under realtor Karen Bradford to learn the ins and outs of the real estate industry. She got started by approaching Bradford, who she already knew personally, and then speaking with Mrs. Walker to fit it into her schedule. Nunez states that “by the time I graduate, I’ll probably already have my [real estate] license” and the beginnings of a career. Nunez says she will most likely start as a real estate agent and hopes to eventually become a broker and run her own company.  Although she’s grateful for this opportunity, she also said it can be quite difficult due to a lack of real estate in Canadian.

 Not every student works for a practicum, some work after school. CHS students can be seen working at local restaurants, the grocery store, movie theater, and other businesses around town. 


Jennifer de la Cruz started her job at Alexander’s, where she runs the register and drive-through window, restocks, and washes dishes, in early August. De la Cruz says she has enjoyed the job so far stating that the money and independence it provides makes her feel “more responsible” and prepared for life after high school. However, she does state that she’s much more tired than before and it is sometimes difficult to manage work and extracurricular activities like band and theatre while “trying to keep your own personal life balance.” After she graduates, De la Cruz wants to attend either Texas Tech or WT to pursue a career in nursing or teaching. 

Bralee Crossland works at Brown Bag Roasters making coffee and other refreshments for the citizens of Canadian. She began working there about four to five months ago, and says that working while going to school full time has been beneficial, as “it teaches you time management skills and a good work ethic.” 

However, she does admit that it can be “stressful when you have a million things going on all the time.”

Next year, Bralee plans to attend a four-year university to study criminology, with hopes to become a forensic psychologist. 

Brianna Rodriguez currently works at Lowe’s Market as a cashier, and has done so since last October. She says the pros of her job are that it is part-time, allowing her to work after school. However, the cons include scheduling conflicts and the added stress from trying to manage both school and work. Although her work experience has been smooth-sailing so far, she says that her situation will change drastically soon as she’s expecting in January. After she graduates, Rodriguez states that she is “planning on going to a trade school to study cosmetology because that’s my main goal.”

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About the Contributors
Kathia Aragon
Kathia Aragon, News Writer
Hello! My name is Kathy Aragon and I am a news writer for our journalism team this year! This is my first year being in journalism as well. I am 16 years old and a Junior at Canadian Highschool.
Ashley Perry
Ashley Perry, Staff Writer
I’m currently a junior at CHS, and my hobbies include cooking, sewing, listening to music, and bothering my dog. I’m also currently president of the 4-H club, stage manager for the theatre production, an employee at Alexander’s, and, most importantly, a writer for the CHS Cat’s Tale Newspaper.
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