Many students must take odd jobs to support themselves, and for two American River College students, that means driving 100 miles to San Francisco three days a week to reach their educational goals by driving Uber.
Zabihullah Hashimi is full-time student majoring in computer science at ARC. When he is not doing schoolwork, he drives for Uber during his free time.
“It’s a job that best suits my situation right now,” Hashimi says. “I make enough money only working for [three] days a week and the rest of the week I go to school.”
The Uber application offers service to riders 24/7. According to Hashimi, his class schedule left him able to work any time he wants.
Hashimi leaves Sacramento to drive to San Francisco every Friday and spends his whole weekend there to drive for Uber. He returns on Sunday evening and prepares to get ready for his Monday classes at ARC.
“ARC provides (the) best possible educational system with a lower cost and friendly environment,” Hashimi said.
Javid Jamshedzada, an accounting major and part-time student at ARC, started driving for Uber almost three years ago.
“I think driving Uber helps me financially to pay all for my living costs, tuitions, and more important(ly), support my family,” Jamshedzada says.
Jamshedzada says he believes driving for Uber can help him financially and support his education while he is at ARC, though there are some drawbacks.
Driving hundreds of miles every week is not an easy job, and according to Jamshedzada, it’s also a risky job.
“Driving is one of the hardest jobs and it is risky sometime(s), you feel afraid of [getting in an] accident, and [facing] the traffic all the time,” Jamshedzada said.
Hashimi and Jamshedzada both migrated from Afghanistan using Special Immigrant Visas. Both have worked with the United States government.
According to Hashimi, there are hundreds of immigrants who drive for Uber in San Francisco. He said they are always at risk of something bad happening while driving for Uber. Hashimi gave the example of an Uber driver who died Feb. 3 while driving a passenger.
FOX KTVU reported on Feb 4. about the student.
“Waheed Etimad was driving an Uber when he was hit by a wrong way driver Sunday around 2:30 a.m. Car after car sat mangled in the middle of the 101 in San Francisco in the aftermath of the crash,” FOX KTVU reported.
Many students, however, say they are willing to face these risks to drive for Uber, for the experience and to pay for school.
“Uber is my ideal job, I will get the chance to meet student passengers who share their stories about their educational goals, experiences, and communicating with them is good chance to learn from them,” Hashimi said. “I use this chance of the external motivation they give to set up small goals in my life.”