Why Christine Needs a Living Wage…

My name is Christine and I make $10/hr as a cashier at Wal-Mart. I work almost forty-hours per week. I plan to continue working at Wal-Mart and maybe make a career out of that. I like my job—I like my manager and the people that I work with.

I live in a two-bedroom apartment with my boyfriend and his mother. We split rent, utilities, and groceries three ways. Our rent is $1,250 per month, and Section 8 pays $91 dollars towards that, so we each pay $385 for rent.

My boyfriend also works. We would like to save up and get our own apartment. I have a savings account and I do put a little bit of money into that as soon as I get my paycheck. Saving enough to get an apartment is going to take some time.

I’m seventeen years old. I started working when I was fifteen. When people talk about teenagers developing work skills and taking starter jobs, I do understand where they’re coming from. You have to start somewhere. But if you don’t have the money to make the money, then how are you going to make it on your own without any adult there to support you?

I don’t have health insurance. My work does offer it, but I can’t afford it right now. I think that everyone should have health and dental insurance. [Editor’s Note: The subject’s name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual.]