Editor’s note: Join the conversation about the minimum wage on Twitter using #RaiseTheWage, and tell us what a raise to $10.10 would mean for you.
My name is Garret Fox and I graduated from Allen High School in Allen, Texas, in June. I will attend Collin County Community College fall 2014 to study computer science. And like many students I will be paying for college mostly on my own with a little help from my family.
This summer I am working as a Computer Numerical Control machine repair assistant making $9 an hour. My job is to clean out dirty CNC machines; taking the covers off, picking up the little bits of metal, scrubbing off the mixture of oil and bacteria that accumulates in the machines, and also checking for faulty wiring. It’s backbreaking work, but I’m just glad I found a job.
Some might think $9 an hour is a fairly decent wage for a teenager like me. However, I know that with what I earn on my current wage I will struggle to pay my rent and bills, and have little disposable income remaining once basic necessities have been paid for.
I have become accustomed to going without many things, such as going out to a movie, because money is tight. It requires quite a lot of budgeting to keep account of everything.
As a student, President Obama’s proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would help me pay for tuition and school supplies. It would relieve some of the financial worries that I face as I prepare to enter the workforce.