For many teens, a year of the coronavirus has meant not only the loss of in-person learning and time with friends, but added shifts at convenience stores and retail shops to help keep their families afloat during the recession. As kids adapt, many of their teachers and schools are improvising as well, extending deadlines and creating new ways to stay in touch. The huge workload is leaving many students stressed out, and some teachers worry they’re in danger of becoming a statistic: the estimated 1 out of 20 teens who drop out of high school each year, according to federal data.

Teens who have joined the workforce hail from families that are predominantly Hispanic and Black, front-line workers and first-generation immigrants who have borne the brunt of the job loss and economic hardship brought on by the pandemic, teachers and counselors said. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, four in 10 children live in families that have struggled to cover basic expenses during the past year. But the relief bill President Joe Biden signed last week aims to fill some of those gaps, providing most families up to $300 per week for each child through the end of 2021.

Some students are thriving under the flexibility afforded by the pandemic, but the lifestyle is not for everyone.

“There are definitely some kids who are having issues around time management,” said Joshua Weintraub, the director of college and career success at Lighthouse Community Charter School in Oakland, California. ‘There aren’t enough hours in the day. They’re prescribing themselves caffeine.”

Yasmine Esquivel, a senior at Lighthouse, works up to 30 hours a week at Gap, helping her mom with groceries because she saw “how tight money was.”

“I get stressed and I know my mom can see it,” she said. “She sometimes tells me to leave my job to focus on school.”

Read the full article about balancing school and work by Linda Jacobson at The 74.