Midlo students bond over part-time jobs

Midlo Student Jobs

Photo by: Maddie Burke
Seniors Lily DeBruycker and Shelby Harris take orders at the sandwich shop, Which Wich.

Midlothian’s Community of Excellence includes many students who excel in both academics and extra-curriculars. During after school hours, often a time used to unwind, various students at Midlo work at their part-time jobs. Many Midlo students hold jobs at the same locations, enjoying each other’s company as they take on the work day.

O’Tooles, a relatively new Irish pub, opened in the Midlothian area in fall of 2019. Teens flocked to the restaurant in hopes of getting a job. Midlo students Hunter Keso, Hannah Strickland, and Madeline Maloney secured positions at O’Tooles. The hostesses find joy interacting with customers daily. Maloney shares, “I know Hannah from yearbook, and that made training less awkward. We like to talk to talk about funny and random things that happen at work.”

The Westchester Chick-Fil-A team holds a bond unlike any other. Approximately eight Midlo students work at this location. Seeing each other outside of school allows the coworkers to create a bond beyond the walls of Midlothian High. Senior Emily Troung states, “I worked with Lauren [Merrill] a lot during the mornings. I‘m not a morning person, but working mornings over the summer was the best thing ever.”Accompanying Troung are: seniors Alex Ayoub, Zach Baker, Hunter Stanek, Lauren Merrill, and Lindsay Radcliff. Often sharing the same shifts, the relationship between these students helps make the work day more enjoyable. 

Which Wich, a popular sandwich shop located in Westchester Commons, constantly brims with Midlo student employees. Lily DeBruycker, Ava Hammond, Shelby Harris, Riley Martin, and Charlie Wilkinson, all members of the Midlothian field hockey team, work at the restaurant together. DeBruycker, who started the job in the summer of 2019, quickly recruited her friends to work alongside her. Their everyday tasks include: making a variety of sandwiches, as well as taking orders and cleaning. Harris loves working with her friends as “it makes working a lot more fun because there’s always someone there to help you out.” Martin agrees, adding, “I was fortunate enough to get a job with a group of my closest friends. Working is a lot easier when I get to be with my favorite people every shift.” This job allows this group of friends to take their bond from the hockey field into the workplace.

The Sweet Frog on Midlothian Turnpike is a second home to seniors Victoria Melton, Rylee Moore, and Zinzi Symister. The inviting and kid-friendly atmosphere creates a low-stress environment. As autumn approaches, and the premium frozen yogurt shop sees a decline in customers, Moore states,“I got to see little kids daily in the summer, but now that it’s slow, I miss seeing so many happy faces.” The girls enjoy working with each other because “it makes shifts go by so much faster.” When customers are far and few in between, the girls create their own frozen yogurt creations such as: birthday cake, s’mores, and strawberry shortcake. 

Seniors Carolyne Francis and Bridget Millacci spend their time working at Regal Cinemas 16 in Westchester Commons. Millacci usually works concessions, while Carolyne primarily works as an usher. Millacci elaborates on her strong connection to her job, commenting, “I love it! Of course, I have been going to the theater since I was a little girl, and I always knew I wanted to work there when I got older.” They both enjoy the benefits of free drinks and popcorn while working, free movie tickets every week, and early access to the latest releases. Unfortunately, the theater plans to close once again, potentially into next year. Millacci, who started the job right before Regal closed in March, states, “I’m going to miss all of my coworkers and the comfort of the purple and orange lobby where I spend most of my nights.” 

Even in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic, where many jobs temporarily shut down, these students find a way to make the most of their free time, working hard alongside their fellow students.