With millions of Americans struggling to find work, high school kids who have yet to enter the work force have a lot on their minds.
As part of a week-long "Going Home" series on "World News with Diane Sawyer," ABC's David Muir traveled to his hometown of Syracuse, New York. While there, he stopped by his old high school, Onondaga Jr-Sr High School, to talk with students in his old history class about their hopes and fears during these tough economic times.
"Syracuse isn't one of those invincible towns, you know," said one student. "We definitely have been affected by the economy. You can tell."
Students said they're learning from the experiences of people in their community. They know they need to develop a wide skill set, and they're prepared to pursue multiple career paths, multiple jobs.
"My mom worked at a pharmaceutical company. She was laid off but luckily she had worked really hard at diversifying her skills and being able to move into another position," said another student. "I sort of learned that you have to be more diverse in everything you do."
About half of the students in the class said they've personally known someone who's lost a job in the last few years, and many have seen their own parents forced to retrain in their careers or take up entirely new jobs.
"My parents grew up in the baby boomer generation," one student told Muir. "I can't help but think they stayed in their occupation [and] they never changed jobs over and over again. I can't help but think what my life is going to be like."
We hope you'll watch today's Conversation.