The Face of Cassia

Anita (left) and Sebastian pose for a picture.

Student Employees Balance School, Work, Hobbies

Cassia is proud to employ many students. Several of them work in the dietary department like servers Sebastian at the Regent of Burnsville and Anita at The Pines.

We caught up with them recently to discuss school, work, hobbies and how they balance it all.

Meet Sebastian

Sebastian, 16, is a junior at Lakeville South High School. He began working at the Regent of Burnsville about a year ago.

“It fits right with my schedule,” he says.

He works a few days a week, sandwiched between school and his favorite extra-curricular activity: boxing.

As a server, he takes orders; delivers drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert; and asks if residents need anything else.

“I keep checking up on them as much as I can without bothering them,” Sebastian says. “ … I try to be as familiar as possible. I try to build a relationship with them. I can have conversations with them so it’s not cold-faced serving. It’s more warm-hearted.”

At school, he enjoys weight-lifting class, engine technology, honors chemistry and geometry.

He started boxing when he was 10 or 11, but paused formal lessons for several years until he could drive.

“Believe it or not, it’s fun and everything, but the thing I like the most is what comes with it mentally,” Sebastian says. “It brings a lot of composure, self-awareness and security… It brings me the security of knowing my limits and how well I can possibly do something, whether its physically or mentally.”

And, he enjoys many aspects of his job.

“Working with Ricco and Zabina is really enjoyable,” Sebastian says. “They show me respect and I respect them back, even love actually from Ricco that he’s expressed. It’s something I can appreciate about a workspace.”

After high school, Sebastian is considering working in the trades or as a mechanic.

Meet Anita

Anita, 19, is a sophomore at St. Thomas University in St. Paul. She is studying digital media and art with a focus on design.

She has been working in senior living for two years, including the past year at The Pines.

“I just like forming relationships with the residents,” she says. “We see each other every day and get to know about each other’s lives. I like the people I work with. I like the environment and residents.”

Anita works primarily as a server, but is also training to be a cook.

She says her manager works with her schedule well.

“At the beginning of the school year, I sent my school schedule and he just works around that,” Anita says. “It gets hard when you have homework you need to get done and the next day you have school for eight hours and you can only work at night. It gets hard in that sense where everything gets backed up. He’s flexible. If I need a day off to focus on my schoolwork, I can take it if I can find someone to cover my shift.”

Anita uses a planner and practices time management techniques to stay organized and fulfill her responsibilities.

She enjoys attending St. Thomas.

“I enjoy the atmosphere and environment and people there,” Anita says. “Everyone’s really nice and helpful like the professors and advisors. There’s a very small minority group, so everyone’s really close with each other and everyone knows everyone. It just creates a community inside St. Thomas.”

After graduating, she looks forward to utilizing her degree, though she isn’t quite sure what that may look like.

Lately, she has been practicing tattooing with her cousin.

“We both love art and have recently taken up tattooing, which is really fun,” Anita says.

Spending her free time with her family is her top priority.

“I like to spend time with my family since I am always out of the house either at school or work, so any chance I get to spend with them is very important to me,” Anita says.

Thanks for being a part of the team, Sebastian and Anita! We look forward to watching you grow as employees, students and individuals as you pursue your dreams.