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.