Summer Jobs

Robbie Cook, 17,  is working the drive through at the Nacogdoches Sonic. She prefers carhopping. "You get to interact with the customers, like get something, tips basically," she said with a laugh.

Teens like money, but it's also a necessity. The cost of living makes it difficult for most parents to pay for everything their child wants. Cook said, "Last year my parents said if I wanted a car I had to get a job. Me in a fast food restaurant I didn't want to do it, but my best friend drives me up so me and her both got a job together, so now I love it."

It's just as much fun for her boss, Rusty Clyburn who loves passing out the first ever paychecks.   "I try to give them a little note, a little congratulations in their first paycheck and it's a big deal. I have a lot of parents coming back and saying how special that was to them. I just love it."

Hannah Howard, 17, did lots of babysitting in her early teen years. At 16 she landed a job in a snow cone booth. Her mom offers gas money, but she prefers using her own money. Howard said, "It has really helped me out a lot. It makes me a lot more responsible so I think when I go off to college it won't be as much a culture shock."

Hannah and Robbie follow the national trend. What they don't spend on transportation goes into a savings account for college.

Millions of teens have summer work, but some experts believe that can sometimes be risky. Some studies have shown teen jobs can lead to lower grades, sleep deprivation and interfere with social life.