Students struggle finding work | News
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV)- When eighteen-year-old Stephanie Rodriguez hears news of an improving economy, she finds it hard to believe.
"It's getting harder," she says. "I mean, gas is going up, school starting…my job's not doing too good."
As thousands of students convened on CPCC's campus Thursday for fall session, Stephanie knows she's not alone - many of them can relate. She has a job at BiLo, but she can't get enough shifts.
"I only get two days a week, and I used to get four," she says.
CPCC student Mick Riberiro is in the same situation. "I don't like, but it is what it is," he says. he can't pay for school with his job at McDonald's ."Too few hours."
But Stephanie's sister, Nicole, thinks they're the lucky ones. She can't find work at all.
"I had two job interviews back-to back, but they never called," Nicole says.
Unemployment and underemployment are both hard to handle when you're putting yourself through school.
"I'm like how am I going to do this, you know," Stephanie says. "I need money for school, books, financial aid's not in yet. Loans…"
The economy has taken its toll on their parents.
"My mom right now, she's unemployed," says Nicole.
And there's some help, but not enough.
"Financial aid is helping me with some of it," Mick says, "and then I'm paying the other half."
Too much worrying can cut into studying.
"I try not to worry myself too much, because it ain't going to do nothing but keep me down," Mick says.
Stephanie just tries to stay focused on one thing. "My future," she says. "It's worth it all. At the end, I'm going to be able to pay it off."
But a recent study found that Americans aged 25-32 are unable to purchase a home or save for retirement because of overwhelming student loan debt, and experts say the problem is only escalating.