Sample Reference Letters for a High School Student

high school students
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Do you need to write a reference for a student? Your reference letter should include information on how you know the student, why you are recommending them, and what qualities they that have will help them succeed at work or in school.

Close your letter by mentioning that you recommend the student and offer to provide additional information, if necessary. Even though the student may not have formal work experience, you can provide a strong reference based upon the capacity in which you know them.

What to Include in the Reference

  • How you know the individual
  • How long you have known the person
  • What the student has accomplished
  • Why you are recommending them
  • How to contact you for follow up questions

See below for a sample character reference letter and an employment reference letter for a student.

Sample Character Reference Letter for a Student

The following is a sample character reference for a student who was a mother's helper and assisted in a retail store.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Katherine Kingston for eight years. During the years of our acquaintance, I have known Katherine in many capacities. She has been my Mother's Helper since the birth of my first child five years ago. Her responsibilities in that capacity have grown with the activity level of a now pre-schooler, and the addition of another child, now a toddler.

Katherine has also been involved with a variety of tasks at my retail business, a specialty shop fitting women for mastectomy, compression, maternity, and nursing products.

Her experiences have included working on inventories, our newsletter, mailing list, and web design, as well as customer interface.

Katherine is an intelligent, capable, and personable young woman. She is always quick on her feet, with sensible reactions in all the circumstances I've seen her in. I feel confident in saying that she is capable of handling any situation with thoughtfulness and maturity.

Please contact me at or at 555.234.1234 if you have any questions I can answer for you.

Jill Johnson

Sample Reference Letter for a High School Student

The following is an example of a reference letter for employment written for a high school student seeking a job.

Dear Mr. Sullivan,

I understand that Mary Smith has applied for a job as ​a receptionist at your B&B for the upcoming summer season. Mary has worked as a waitress in my restaurant for the past two years. She is a hard worker, always on time, and cheerful. I have been impressed with her ability to manage during hectic times, always remaining in control, and keeping the customers happy. She gets along well with her co-workers, as well as the management team.

Mary is a bright young woman, and I am sure that she will excel at whatever job she undertakes. I can enthusiastically recommend her for the position that you have open.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I can be reached at 555-111-1234 or


Anthony White

Sending an Email Reference

When you're sending your reference in an email, include the student's name in the subject of the message:

Subject: Katherine Kingston - Reference

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