I had no idea the US had a youth minimum wage. It seems silly to devalue someone’s contribution because of age. Regardless of age, they are still a person. As a teenager I always earned the minimum wage at the time, so $7-$9 per hour during high school. For reference I lived in California. I paid for my own gas and maintenance on my car and some college related expenses (some college apps, postage applying for scholarships). Friends of mine that worked paid for all of their own AP / SAT tests and college apps. Just applying to college cost me around $1,000 (2008) and it cost my sister over $2,000 last year.