In its first summer, Saint Viator’s Corporate Work Study Program placed three students in entry-level summer jobs at two local corporations, providing them with invaluable work experience along with a $3,000 discount on tuition.
In its third summer, the program is thriving, as more than 100 new jobs will be made available to qualifying students.
The Corporate Work Study Program’s significant growth is credited to a new partner and Saint Viator parent, Tony Graffia, of Encore Repair, a consumer electronics company located in East Dundee, specializing in repair and refurbishing. Mr. Graffia’s company will welcome up to 100 Saint Viator students to gain experience working with hi-tech devices, testing them and performing auditing procedures.
“It’s a great opportunity to get involved with the school and help out the students,” Mr. Graffia said. “It also helps my employees learn about the importance of giving back.”
The Corporate Work Study Program was designed to make a Catholic education more affordable for families with limited income.
“This program helps Saint Viator be even more true to its mission – to prepare kids for the professional world, not just college, while giving them the best faith and academic formation in the area,” according to President Fr. Corey Brost, C.S.V.
During its first summer, interns worked at a pair of law firms, including Kelleher & Buckley in North Barrington and at Niro, Haller & Niro in Chicago, gaining real work experience while adapting to a professional setting. Both of those firms continue to support the program.
Andy Kelleher said his firm felt it was important to give students a chance to learn and gain new skills, and all in a safe environment.
“The biggest gift was their presence,” Kelleher said, “seeing their excitement and desire to learn, working to improve themselves and making a positive impact on the business they were supporting.”
Subsequent partners now include: Lavelle Law, Cashman Stahler Group, Faith Community Homes, Journeys: The Road Home, Village Bank & Trust, Nippon Life Benefits, Directions AV, and Rose Packing. Students also work at non-profit agencies serving the poor. Those positions are funded by Saint Viator donors and allow the program to further the school’s Catholic mission to train young people to serve those forgotten in society.
Joining with Encore Repair this summer in offering corporate work study positions are Arthur J. Gallagher, which is offering an internship in sales and marketing, as well as the IT firm, MotherG, both located in Itasca, and the city of Prospect Heights.
Jobs with the Corporate Work Study Program are limited. Student selection is based on maturity level and financial need, with priority going to students in need of more than a half tuition scholarship.
Students who pursue the program gain valid work experience, while building their college resume. They also develop relationships in the business world, while learning workplace skills that will help them in college and beyond.
Anna Krause ’17 has been involved with the Corporate Work Study Program since its launch in 2014. Her first position was with Niro, Haller & Niro when she was going into her sophomore year. She spent last summer working at Village Bank & Trust, and she is now completing her final stint with the program at the Prospect Heights Village Hall.
“I’ve learned how to work with and talk to adults in a professional way,” she said, “and also, that I can work diligently while still having fun.”
Interested in learning more about the Corporate Work Study Program? Attend an Information Night on Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Jeuck Auditorium.