Part-time students, part-time workers


Diamond Bar High School senior Dylan Kinney works as a construction worker. Also having part-time jobs are junior Natalie Swartout (left) and senior Joseline Chang (middle) shown with Kinney (right).

Brian Chang , News Editor

Running back and forth from the front counter to the kitchen and back, balancing bowls and plates on the way in and more on the way out, taking orders, preparing food and washing dishes; rinse and repeat. Such is a typical day on the job for Diamond Bar High School senior Joseline Chang.

DBHS students Chang, junior Natalie Swartout and senior Dylan Kinney are just three of the numerous students on campus who hold part-time jobs in order to earn extra spending money.

Chang began working at Rokuan Restaurant in Chino Hills at the beginning of her junior year so she did not have to depend on her parents for personal items, such as clothes. At Rokuan, a Japanese sushi restaurant in Chino Hills, Chang takes orders and helps prepare the food.

“It started over the summer because I wasn’t really doing much and I wanted to fill up my time,” Chang said. “If I’m having issues at home or at school, working takes me to another place. It’s a place where I can get my mind off while getting paid.”

To balance her busy schedule between school and her job, Chang works only one day a week, though she does sometimes forgo


working in order to focus on school.

 “I don’t really recommend working. I think school’s pretty important, especially for seniors and juniors. This is the time you should be spending either hanging out with your friends or doing schoolwork,” Chang said.

Similarly, Swartout has worked at Chick-fil-A for around five months and mostly works as a cashier at the front counter, though she occasionally helps clean up tables and assists customers in the dining area. 

Swartout finds time for her job by studying more on days she does not work in order to make up for the days she does. She said she started working in order to have more money on hand and recommends other students do the same.

“Just go out and ask who’s hiring. It’s a really good opportunity to get some extra spending money and meet new people, and if you like your coworkers, it’s really fun. We’ve all become great friends and I really like spending time with them,” Swartout said.

Kinney is a self-employed construction worker and does jobs ranging from building walls and repainting railings to fixing electrical outlets and sanding wood.


Kinney first gained experience when he was seven years old, when he would help his dad on the job.

“The first thing I would do is hand him his tools, and from there he’d give me harder jobs, and eventually I broke off by myself and started getting my own jobs,” Kinney said.

As a member of the school’s cross country team, Kinney goes straight to work after practice and works until evening on a daily basis. On Saturdays and the occasional Sunday, he works 10 hour shifts if he has no other schedule conflicts.

“There’s many different types [of jobs]. You never know what you’re going to get, and it’s always different. There’s the jobs where it’s just so tedious, where every little thing matters, and the easy ones, where it’s just back and forth. I enjoy doing electrical; I’m probably going to be an electrician when I’m older, and I enjoy woodworking.”