Students start the job search with Grindstone


Julia Appleby

Evan Ajuria and Aiden Appleby are the two co-founders of Grindstone, a student-run job search platform for high school students.

Grindstone is a student-run job platform created for students by students. Since its launch, the app has connected high school students with unique job opportunities. 

“Once I got the app, I got a job within the first three days. I’ve had that job for maybe three to five months now, and I’ve made a decent amount of money. It was simple but really effective,” Nelson Hawkins, a senior, said. 

Students developed the app to help other teens find positions specific to their interests. Senior Matthew Ghazal was able to use Grindstone to find a job tailored to his filmmaking interest.  

“I saw an advertisement on Instagram for someone who needed help filming an event. I thought, I am into filmmaking, I can help out with that, so I applied through Grindstone,” Ghazal said. 

Carlmont senior Evan Ajuria and Design Tech senior Aiden Appleby developed the app with a team of high school students. 

“My favorite thing is the fact that we are completely student-run,” Appleby said. “It’s one thing that we are able to build a platform that suits us best because we’re students, but on the flip side, it’s really kind of pivotal for us because we are getting a massive amount of experience at a young age.” 

Helping students gain experience in areas they are interested in is one of Grindstone’s main objectives. 

“The jobs that are offered to students right now don’t bear much responsibility. I have seen many students who want to utilize the skills that they have, but working at Starbucks does not allow them to do that. Being able to go on a platform and find unique jobs and opportunities that you can actually put on your resume is a game-changer,” Ajuria said. 

While many students are eager to learn, Ajuria anticipates getting employers will be challenging. 

“Right now, people underestimate high schoolers. People think that high schoolers today don’t want to work, but in reality, people are just posting their jobs in the wrong places,” Ajuria said. 

Despite the anticipated challenges, the app has experienced significant growth since its launch. 

“The app has grown tremendously. Grindstone started in 2020 when we launched our first app on the App Store,” Ajuria said. “Since then, we have grown to about almost every state in the United States. We were growing about 20% per month, and we have since launched Grindstone V2, which is a whole revamp of the system.” 

V2 came with lots of updates that made it easier for students to connect and find new job opportunities. 

“The biggest change between V1 and V2 was the design. We are adding more transitions and keeping things nice, clean, and pretty. But, the biggest change is building out the structures so we can start rolling out new features that our users want to see,” Appleby said. 

However, some of their most significant developments are still underway. 

“We are going to be opening up student services, which will allow students to post their own jobs. It’s basically allowing students to reach out to the people in the community,” Ajuria said.

Additionally, the team has outlined a series of short and long-term goals for the company. 

“Right now, we are trying to hit 2,000 users, and we are on track to meet that goal. We are also planning on doing an investment round to raise money. Then, our long-term goal is to make Grindstone accessible to everybody, have there be jobs everywhere, and bring communities together,” Ajuria said. 

The Grindstone team has worked to create a unique job platform for students. As it continues to develop, many are beginning to see its importance in the community. 

“I don’t know how an app dedicated to providing teenagers with jobs has not come out yet. I think it’s a really good idea, and I definitely recommend that people check it out,” Ghazal said.

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