Teens across Tucson are struggling to find summer jobs, a challenge highlighted by one local mother who shared her son’s story.

Frankie Varelas 17-year-old son applied to eight different jobs in Tucson but was unsuccessful with all of them. He was really upset; it was very discouraging for him, Varela said.

Despite attending several interviews, he did not receive any callbacks. He got hired at Taco Bell, did all the paperwork, and they never called him back, Varela said.

Varela believes the interviews lacked connection, describing them as very short and impersonal. She said, They just asked basic questions like your name, availability, and understanding of job responsibilities, and then its over.

Varela compared her sons job search to her own when she was a teenager, When I was 15, 16, 17, it was easier. Now, my kids are having a really hard time finding jobs.

Due to the difficulty in finding traditional employment, many teens are turning to alternative, non-traditional jobs. Im finding that most teens are taking on under-the-table jobs, working on farms, or babysitting, Varela said.

Varela mentioned the importance of our community having more job opportunities for teens to help them prepare for the future.

Kids are very important because they are our future, Varela said.

If you have a teen struggling to find a summer job, there are other alternatives such as internships or volunteer work that can help them prepare for their future.