What It Feels Like To Have a Job at Your School

///As told by Heavenly Hughes


As a student custodian for ADM, Junior Heavenly Hughes has many tasks. One of these is cleaning the recycling bins around the school. Her least favorite task—cleaning the bathrooms. “It can be a pretty grimy thing to do,” Hughes shares. Regardless of messes in the school, Heavenly still loves her job and finds great satisfaction in it.

Some teenagers work at fast food places, some work at grocery stores, but not me. As a student of ADM high school, I work as the school’s one and only student custodian. 

One day, as I do every day, I received the school’s daily announcements. This particular email, however, was special as it would be the beginning of my job. In the middle of the announcements, the custodial staff mentioned a potential way to make money by helping them out after school. I took note of this and took an application from the counselor’s office. I went through the typical application process, and on January 25th of 2023, I started my new job.

A usual day for me is not extremely consistent. My work hours usually depend on the weather and necessity, but I generally have a shift every day after school until 6:30. The tasks I have for the day are the primary source of inconsistency in my job. I always rush over to the maintenance office right after school, clock in and begin my tasks. I will receive some form of communication from my boss if extra help is needed. If this happens, they explain what I need to do, but if not, I just continue what I was told to do prior and then figure it out from there. I go to the classrooms and empty their recycling bins, clean the bathrooms and vacuum the halls. That is my favorite part of my job. I enjoy getting to ride around on the vacuum, say hello to the students and give high fives.

While I can understand why this job could seem awkward at first, I can attest that it is not. My work is generally very hands-on, which can be different from some teenage jobs, but my relationship with my coworkers is completely average. I work with the custodial staff at the school and I have never felt out of place with them. I feel like they respect me for who I am. Even though I am a student custodian, they appreciate my help.

As of recently, my workload has been a little bit heavier than usual. Currently, I have a fellow coworker who’s off work because of surgery, so I have some extra tasks. I’ve had to clean the middle school hallways on top of the high school, so it can be a little challenging. This challenge is a lot easier to bear by communicating with the rest of the custodial staff. During this job, I have noticed my communication skills have been extremely improved and challenged. 

I have noticed quite a few improvements in my skill set that I believe I have gained through this job. Recently, I have noticed a significant improvement in my confidence which I have attributed to my custodial work. I also believe that I have learned to be more open and understand others better.

I can say in all honesty that I enjoy my job. While it may be gritty and dirty in the eyes of some, I find it rewarding, challenging and fun. As of right now, I don’t have any future career ideas in mind, but I can see in some way continuing my work at ADM after my education here comes to a close.