Student essential workers struggle to balance work and school

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Student essential workers are having to balance work and school during the Coronavirus pandemic, making it hard to decide which to prioritize.

May 4th marked the start of online classes for students in the Philadelphia School District after the COVID-19 outbreak back in March. Now, instead of focusing solely on providing for their families, students also have to worry about passing their classes virtually. Specifically, students at Franklin Learning Center are feeling the pressure from having to make this important decision.

FLC senior, Jacqueline Lara, said, “Many times I have a class scheduled in the middle of a shift. So I have answered a call at work…I am usually multitasking, so it is kind of hard to give my undivided attention to the teacher.” 

Lara, who is currently working at Fruta Bowls Philly, isn’t the only student who is having a hard time managing the work load.

Cold Stone Creamery employee Yinel Gonzalez, also a senior at FLC, says it has been difficult for her “to complete school work and attend classes because I work about 6 days a week.” She added that her schedule is “very busy which makes my manager give more hours to workers and since we aren’t able to hire people due to the pandemic there is nothing that we can do.”

Working is the only option for students like Lara and Gonzalez, especially with college right around the corner.

“I chose to continue to work since I am the only person working in my household,” said Lara. “I want to be able to provide a source of income for me and my family and I want to save as much money as possible for my college tuition.”

These students understand the difficulty in maintaining a balance between work and school. They aren’t just putting their lives at risk by going to work, they are also risking their education. 

“It had been difficult for me to do my work without barely meeting deadlines, however my education is of great importance,” said Lara. “We are also risking our health in order to serve and provide the best service we can possibly give. Please stay safe and practice social distancing.”

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