The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Chamblee Students are Hard at Work

Dean Payne
Dean Payne (‘25) in his Publix uniform before his first day on the job.

As Chamblee’s student body is highly diverse in interests, Chamblee students work in many unique jobs. Students at Chamblee work in everything from tutoring to catering, but finding a job that suits your skills and interests can be hard. Hearing from fellow students about what their jobs entail and what you need to be successful in those jobs can help you if you’re looking to enter the workforce. 


Tucker Taekwondo Center 


David Nevada (‘25), a martial arts instructor at the Tucker Taekwondo Center, stopped taking taekwondo lessons when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Georgia. However, the skills he learned before the pandemic and used to earn a second-degree black belt prepared him to be a teacher of taekwondo rather than a student when quarantine ended.

“I get to help younger kids and people close to my age to grow not only in taekwondo and martial arts but in life. I teach the kids punching forms, how to spar, and other things, but overall I just try to make taekwondo lessons as fun as possible. Working at the Tucker Taekwondo Center is just a fun experience, and I get to motivate other people and be a role model,” said Nevada. 

Nevada considers a workday at the Tucker Taekwondo Center to be quite straightforward.

“I get there at 3:50, and the first class starts at 4:00. I get to teach all the younger kids, so they arrive and we start the class. Each class is about 45 minutes,” said Nevada.

Through working as a taekwondo instructor, Nevada has found himself learning a lot and growing not just as a teacher but as a person.

“I’ve become more responsible [since I began working as a taekwondo instructor]. I often find myself giving the students advice that I need too, and sometimes I end up following my own advice. Now I’m starting to be more strict with myself on the different choices that I make,” said Nevada. 


Verde Taqueria  


Gabriella Mayes (‘24) works as a hostess at Verde Taqueria. She found a job opening on Indeed and decided to give it a try because of Verde Taqueria’s close proximity to her house.

“I seat people when they walk into the restaurant, I wipe menus, I answer the phone, I keep track of to-go orders, and I check people out,” said Mayes. 

Mayes feels that Verde Taqueria might be the job for you if you are looking for an easy job that pays well.

“My shifts are right after school from four to 10 P.M. The days I work depend on the week. Most weeks, I work Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, which I like a lot. I really like my job. It’s a pretty easy job, and I get paid well,” said Mayes.

According to Mayes, the skills required to be a good host or hostess are patience and a friendly personality.

“The thing you need the most to work as a hostess is patience because people will sometimes get annoyed if you don’t see them right away or if you don’t have their order ready. Also, having good people skills and being able to talk to people when they walk through the door make the customers have better experiences,” said Mayes.

If you need a job right now, Verde Taqueria is hiring.

 “Please apply, We really need help right now. Just be really friendly and nice and you will be fine,” said Mayes.


Zesty Atlanta Catering


Emilia Lowe-Pedersen (‘24) participates in two service-oriented jobs, the less time-consuming of which is catering.

“We set up and flip venues for mostly weddings and mitzvahs. Then, there will be a seated dinner where we bus dishes and do similar service things. I like working mitzvahs because I get to work the kids’ bar and make 500 Shirley Temples. It’s a fun environment because you get to work events and those are fun, but the events can be long hours with no breaks. You’re working for eight hours straight,” said Lowe-Pedersen. 

This job, like other service-oriented jobs, requires being able to interact with others and can improve that aspect of your life.

“When working service jobs, you need a lot of people skills. I was bad at talking to people I didn’t know, but now I can talk to anyone and learn something about them in two minutes. This job has definitely helped me be able to talk to people and calm my social anxiety,” said Lowe-Pedersen.

Zesty Atlanta Catering has flexible hours and is looking for employees.

“Catering is easy [when it comes to scheduling] because I work one day on the weekend, and Zesty Atlanta catering pays $17 an hour. They’re always recruiting, and It’s really flexible working hours. They basically ask you when you want to work, and you can just pick the days you work. I would highly recommend this job,” said Lowe-Pedersen.


Won Kitchen


Lowe-Pederson has another job that she works at on weekdays, and that is working at Won Kitchen, which is right next to Chamblee.

“At Won Kitchen, I serve customers, assemble some of the food items, and talk to people. It is an interesting job because I get to learn a lot about a bunch of random people. A lot of the time, Won Kitchen is not that busy, so it can be kind of boring. However, that is a good thing sometimes because I can do my homework while I’m there,” said Lowe-Pedersen.

Won Kitchen also helped Lowe-Pedersen strengthen what she considered one of her weaknesses.

“Before I worked at Won Kitchen, I hated phone calls, but now I have to answer the phone if it rings. Now, I don’t care about phone calls at all, and that really helped me as a person,” said Lowe-Pedersen.

Getting a job at Won Kitchen might be hard right now because it isn’t actively searching for applicants.

“We’re always accepting applications, but the thing about Won Kitchen is that the owners don’t really need people to work there. This means you have to be really good or else they don’t really need you. If you do submit an application, make sure that when you’re doing your interview you can talk to people. That’s what the owners are looking for,” said Lowe-Pedersen.




Alec Stephenson (‘26) has a similar job to Mayes’, but the environment of IHOP is different from that of Verde Taqueria. 

“I greet people at the door, and I am the first face they see. I have to make sure they are happy and seat them so our waiters can take their orders. As a host, I have to be able to spread out where people sit so the servers don’t get overwhelmed in one section.Throughout this job, I think my social skills, problem-solving, and decision-making have improved,” said Stephenson. 

If you are looking for a relaxed weekend, this might not be the job for you.

“I work Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. Sometimes on the weekends, we get so busy that we can’t seat anyone because the kitchen is so far behind on making the different foods. Our servers are always busy cleaning up tables, delivering drinks, delivering food, and punching in their tickets to get the food made in the kitchen,” said Stephenson.

Despite IHOP getting busy at times, there are a lot of benefits of the job.

“I like the convenience of working at IHOP because I work right across the street from the school. Also, it’s a nice workplace because the coworkers and managers are very friendly, and  it’s a fun place to eat dinner or hang out,” said Stephenson.

If you are looking to work at IHOP, Stepheson recommends following up on the application process, dressing nice, and bringing a resume.

“You’ll have to talk to the manager, and make sure you follow up if they tell you to come back another day. Also, make sure you follow up, and make sure you dress decently nice, kind of business casual, like in jeans and a polo shirt. You also have to be able to convey your friendliness, and bring a resume. They love resumes,” said Stephenson.


Balancing School and Work


With students at Chamblee High School having to spend a lot of time at both school and work, balancing their time can be challenging, but many students have found ways to adjust to the long hours.

“[Balancing your time] depends on how hard your classes are. Last year was more of a struggle for me because I was taking five APS, but I could get some of my work done at work. However, I think everyone should get a job because the people I know who don’t have jobs are just not as cool. They don’t understand the grind, so everyone should get a job,” said Lowe-Pedersen.

Working on homework when you’re not busy at your job is also helpful for managing your time.

“When I get homework, I try to get it done during my downtime at work. Most Mondays and Wednesdays at work, not a lot of people come in after 4 P.M., so I can do my homework on my Chromebook with IHOP’s WiFi. However, I do think you should focus on your schoolwork and your school life more than your work life because you can take a short absence from work if you talk to your manager. They should be able to understand your situation. If not then that’s not a good work environment,” said Stephenson.

Dual enrollment can also allow you to have more time for work.

“I’m in dual enrollment, which is really nice, because if I work really late, which I normally do, I can do my homework in the mornings when I don’t have class. Dual enrollment is a really good way to balance everything,” said Mayes.

However, many students believe that if you are unable to balance work and school, school should come first.

“Make sure you balance your academics, sports, and job, and don’t overwhelm yourself with a job right now because you still have the rest of your life to work. If you can’t handle having a job, then don’t have one. Focus on your academics and your athletics or hobbies, but don’t overwhelm yourself and keep your life as balanced as you can,” said Nevada.

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About the Contributor
Elijah Ritchey, Staff Writer
Elijah Ritchey ('25) is a junior and a staff writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, he hopes to be crazy rich- but don't we all? His three favorite things are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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