I’ve been working at Starbucks for two and a half years, and I’m doing it part-time because I’m a full-time student. I’m in grad school working towards my master’s degree in social work so I can mentor marginalized teens. I feel like I was privileged growing up to have both my parents and three older siblings, in a time where community was everything and people were helping each other out — if I didn’t have that, God knows where I’d be later on in life. I feel like I can give back to the community by making sure young men get the guidance they need.

Before I started at Starbucks, I was working as a certified personal trainer at a gym. Towards the end, it got pretty bad. I had started going to school, and the manager told me I wasn’t prioritizing company time and putting my job ahead of my education. I needed to find something that was amicable with school and gave me the freedom to go to classes and study when I needed to.

Now, we always get our schedule two to three weeks ahead of time. That works out well for me — I can schedule around my classes and study times, and spend time mentoring youth on the side too. My parents are elderly, so being able to know that I can spend time taking care of them if I need to is nice too. Getting notice of my schedule means I know where it’s at and where I can put in free time to study, mentor, spend time with family, or just take some me time.

Since secure scheduling went into effect, we’re no longer being asked to leave early when the store isn’t busy. That happened a lot before secure scheduling, and it meant you didn’t get paid for that time you expected to work. Our manager also talked to us individually about our schedules, and I got mine fixed so I’m working 25-28 hours every week. I get to choose my own availability, and I can pick up extra shifts online or by trading with coworkers or talking to a manager if I want them.

I think secure scheduling is good for morale. It makes the work environment feel more relaxed, and like something is in place to make sure everyone is following the rules. I feel like we’re being looked after as workers, and we won’t be worked into the ground unless we want to.

Click here to read more stories from workers like Sean about what secure scheduling has meant for their time, their families, their health, and their lives.