I think you nailed it when you said "I don't live in the states." Bravo for your self affirming actions when a teen. That was your road, eh? Considering that all here respect what this lad is doing shows that not all agree with your hardline criteria as to who deserves respect.
As has been said, NO ONE HIRES A 17 YEAR OLD FOR MUCH OF ANYTHING BUT A FAST FOOD JOB. In this country you cannot afford the apt. that they wont let you rent if you move out at 17. Granted, if there are friends (18) you can hook up with them and then all pool your money and take the shit job in the low rent district where there are plenty of drugs and no future. If you knew that and payed attention to the fact that this kid has been home schooled, ( this means that his mother or parent is the teacher and the kid KNOWS NO ONE BUT OTHER WITNESSES.. There are no other students.) This tends to make kids into social retards, save for the interaction of field service.
No, there are not any provisions for helping young people that move out when underage. You cannot rent an apartment until you are 18 in this country. YOU CANNOT. You cannot get a loan for a car until you are 18. You cannot get insurance for a car, (required by law) until you are 18. You cannot drive a car legally without insurance. If caught without insurance its a hefty fine that he would have to add to his financial burden. An apt. might cost this kid as much as $650.00 to $800.00 a month. Of course this isn't furnished, he would have to come up with some. No parental help at all if he takes the route you expound. Then add utilities and car insurance, another $80.00 plus $150.00 a month. These are low ass figures. Add food 200.00 a month (laughable) and you have about $1030.00 a month... conservative estimate for someone earning approx $900. a month.
Hey kid, stand up for your beliefs! What the hell is wrong with you?
Then while he's working 40 hours a week shoveling french fries or clearing tables he won't have time to attend school. Oh, yes, good luck if your unfinished home schooling gets you into anything but a Community College. We have no National Health in the U.S., we have to come up with money for the doctor if we have no employer provideed health insurance. Therefore if he gets ill while he's living in his crap apt that he can't afford, he will have to pay the $45.00 - $100.00 to see the doctor and the 85.00 for the anti-biotics if he gets really sick from bronchitis or whatever. Then again, he'll lose some work, or go to work sick and prolong his illness so he can almost make enough money to survive. All this so he can have your respect? You do the math.
He's smart to bide his time and work the system till he's in a circumstance where he can succeed, better yet, prosper.
This youngster is doing what he can, looking for support in his desire to make a switch, when the time is right. He is rearranging his thinking. You would enforce your thinking on him regardless of showing understanding or insight, (very elder like, trust me I've been there... shame on me.)
In some parts of the country its better than others, but on the whole that's why so many undereducated turn to selling drugs. There's gold in that if you want to live like that.
I'm glad it worked for you. You aint from these parts and it aint like it is down under, apparently.
Glad you made the break, now give the kid one. Why not encourage the flame of light instead of pissing on it?