Danielle Silas and Robert Roser have a few things in common: They are both college students who plan to attend law school and both currently work minimum wage jobs at the same Glen Cove restaurant.
While Silas, 21, plans to begin her senior year at Cornell University in the fall, she is juggling two unpaid internships this summer while bartending on the side at .
“I’m not nervous about graduating,” Silas said. “I plan to move back home first, but hope to pay my own way in the near future.”
Silas – who interns at the Coalition for Abused and Neglected Children as well as an adoption law firm – said she would ideally like to work for the Nassau District Attorney’s office in the Special Victims Office after graduation.
“I would like to have an apartment somewhere close to the courts, have a car, pay my own bills,” she said. “I do like Long Island, but I don’t know if I’d come back and settle in Glen Cove.”
Silas said that several of her friends have already graduated and are struggling to find jobs and pay their own bills.
Unlike Silas, Roser, 19, is not a lifelong Glen Cover. He recently moved back to his childhood town from Florida after being away for 11 years.
Roser says he is not intimidated by Long Island’s high cost of living, rather, he sees it as opportunity for a more fulfilling lifestyle.
“Growing up in Flordia, it was impossible to get a job,” he said. “You applied to grocery stores, restaurants, they were all completely over-employed. I was going like six months between jobs. And keeping jobs were harder. You always had older people trying to take their jobs with families to support.”
Roser said he was only unemployed for three weeks before he landed a waiter job at Page One: “It was much easier to get a job on Long Island,” he said. “New York is the haven businesses.”
Roser says he is currently studying pre-law at SUNY Old Westbury and hopes to move out on his own within a year of graduating.
, co-owner of Page One Restaurant, says she understands how difficult it is for her young educated employees to find work in their desired fields.
“I like when people say: I have to leave early to go to my real job,” DiMenna said. “I was out of the house at 18, had to buy my own car, pay insurance. “It gave me perspective on how hard it is.”
While Silas and Roser have high hopes to be on their own after college, Glen Cove resident Ken Lehman says it’s not easy to immediately pursue a career in this economy, even with a top notch education.
Lehman, 26, received a Bachelors Degree in English from C.W Post in 2007 and just recently quit his part-time job at to pursue a video production business.
“I’m trying to focus on my passion,” he said. “Not just have a job I fell into.“
Lehman – who went on to receive a broadcasting certificate from Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2010 – said that after four months at CVS, he was able to pay for the video equipment needed to start up his business.
While Lehman currently lives at home with his mother, he says he hopes to be able to make it on his own on Long Island someday.
“I’ve been here and I’ve worked way too hard to leave now,” he said. “But in today’s economy, it’s very tough. I really don’t think I know of a single person who moved out on their own – without any help – and lasted over a year. The cost just gets to be too much.”