Students Work Extra Hours on Thanksgiving & Black Friday Holiday Break


For some Wauwatosa West students the five day Thanksgiving break is not a time to relax but a time to work more hours at their part time job.  

Almost half of Wauwatosa West students have a part time job.  This is according to a 2018 survey conducted by Wauwatosa West students enrolled in the English Journalism elective Writing for Publication.  The survey showed that of 142 students asked, 45.1% or 64 people of work a part time job during the school year.  According to, about 20% of youth enrolled in high school work nationwide.

Students look at the increased work time in different ways.  For some students the time at work is an opportunity to get in extra hours at work and make more money.  For other students, they feel taken advantage of because working instead of spending time with their family.

“I wanted to work on the holidays because you get paid more.  It’s almost always packed and you’re busy and I’ll be on the move. I’m pretty sure it’ll be packed Thursday and Friday.  I don’t really know what to expect. I want to do it for the money and experience.” said Senior Jelan Nation.

Nation has worked at the Target story on 124th street since September.  He will be working an extra two hours on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.   

However, some students who work in food service also believe interacting with shoppers who are filled with holiday spirit is the best part about making the holidays.

“I prefer working somewhere, even if I do get paid a little bit less, the environment is really really nice and they are super understanding.” Wauwatosa West Senior Taylor Stiff, also an employee at Fiddleheads Coffee.

Many students are looking for being in a fast paced, busy environment on Black Friday

“It’ll be different. It might be harder to deal with. Since I’m a stocker, I have to take items and place them on shelves and bring things into the store at a much faster pace since it’ll be a lot more people coming in and buying.” said Milwaukee School of Languages sophomore Michael Freeman.  He has worked at the Target store on south 41st street since June of 2018.

However, not all students enjoy working on Thanksgiving.  Wauwatosa West Senior Elliott Kite worked on Thanksgiving last year at his job at Rocky Rococo’s in the food court in Mayfair Mall.  

“It was annoying working on Thanksgiving last year because we started at 6 p.m. and I couldn’t even eat with my family.” said Kite.

Missing out on the holidays can be rough, but some parents understand that their children may have to work and more pressure on them to spend time with family is the last thing they want.

According to Dawn Hordyk, mother of Whitefish Bay High Freshman Spencer Hordyk, employee at Golden Corral  right next to Mitchell General Airport, wants her son to work on the holidays.

“Well I actually don’t mind at all. What’s important to me is that my son gets the money he not only works hard for, but also has fun working for it.”

Despite the holidays, Hordyk believes that training their child to be a responsible employee is more important and should be the top priority.

“We can always celebrate Thanksgiving later on during the night when he gets home, but if he has to work, it’s his responsibility and I want him to take that responsibility.”

Story Reported and Written By Isaiah Hughes.  He is a Junior at Wauwatosa West.  This is his first published article.