In October, the Office of Human Resources (HR) welcomed four student workers from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis. The four student workers are spending the academic year working one or two days per week in HR through the school’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP).

The purpose of the CWSP is to provide Cristo Rey students in grades nine through 12 with a real-world job experience while enabling them to earn a portion of their tuition costs. Besides St. Thomas, other CWSP corporate partners include Cargill, US Bank, Target Corporation and Ecolab. The Opus College of Business was a previous partner in the CWSP.

The four students working in HR are Litzy Juliet Garduno Lopez, Sara Leon, Jennifer Zhiminaicela and E-Don Mitchell. Lopez is a ninth grader at Cristo Rey. She loves history, plays volleyball and aspires to be a chef or an actress. Leon is a senior. Her favorite subject is religion, and she reports that one of her greatest accomplishments is getting her G.P.A. up to 3.5 while going through a difficult junior year. Zhiminaicela is also in the ninth grade. She loves math and identifies her hard-working parents as her personal heroes. Mitchell is a sophomore. Her favorite subject is also math and she plays basketball in her spare time.

All four students expressed a desire to enhance their work and social skills through their experience with HR. They also are excited to discover first-hand what it’s like to work on a college campus and to gain some insight into the student experience here at St. Thomas. To date, the students have helped HR with everything from filing and typing projects to assisting with meeting set-up and take-down. They also attend HR staff meetings and any staff development activities planned for the HR department on a given day so that they are fully immersed in their on-the-job experience.

HR is documenting the success of this program with the hope that it can be replicated elsewhere on the St. Thomas campus in subsequent years.

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