In September of 2019, the Ivystone Exton office became a first time Job Partner with Cristo Rey High School, which is a college prep school that’s located in North Philadelphia. The thing that makes this High School so unique is that it’s an alternative to public schooling that is geared towards students from low-income families who could not otherwise afford a private education. To put into perspective how impactful the program is, 100% of graduates from the school have been accepted into a 4-year college, with a 90% retention rate once they go on to college.
As a job partner in the work study program, Ivystone had four student interns (1 Freshman, 1 Sophomore, 1 Junior, 1 Senior) that share one position, and they rotate days at the office. While at Ivystone, they are gaining professional experience and skills that should greatly benefit them after college, while at the same time, earning wages that help to offset the cost of their education. When they’re not at the office, they are back at the high school in courses and activities that are designed to prepare them for success at the college level.
“The Work-Study Program and our partnership beautifully demonstrate how it is possible to bring people of different ages, of different backgrounds and of different walks of life together to accomplish one goal. We believe that the Work-Study Program changes lives for all involved. We also believe that access to a quality education is a fundamental component of the systemic changes necessary to address poverty and racial injustice.”, Joanna F. Wusinich, Director of Work Study Program.
Our Cristo Rey Interns contributed to the team by preparing mailings, hot-spotting catalogues, processing commission statements, researching, and verifying information on tax documents. Students also had opportunities to assist with Showroom set up. Once students mastered a skill, they were given additional responsibilities which allowed them to grow as young professionals throughout the year!
Our Intern’s reflected on the highlights of their work-study experience at Ivystone this year…
“…working in the Showroom. I enjoyed setting up the displays for the customers and partners who came in to buy products. Also, I got to meet new people and help them. This year at work, I learned how to hotspot and brandwise and developed my computer skills, especially with PowerPoint. I chose Cristo Rey for high school because I wanted to challenge myself and it has a Work- Study Program.”
– Ivystone’s Freshman Intern
“... the opportunity I had to do all different types of work. I learned about marketing and how products are shown to customers. I learned how to hotspot and I never knew what that was before this experience. I am grateful that I got to try different things out. I chose to come to Cristo Rey because when I went to the night school fair I kept hearing Ms. Tasha (admissions counselor) say ‘Cristo Rey is a family and all the teachers here love the students,’ and I wanted to feel something like that.”
– Ivystone’s Sophomore Intern
“... how hands on the company is with their workers, meaning that Ivystone really cares about their employees. They treated me like I was part of the team. I always received feedback and when I didn’t know how to do something, they taught me how to do it. On the job, I learned how to manage my time, how to communicate when something is wrong and that it is ok to make a mistake.”
– Ivystone’s Junior Intern
“... this Work-Study year has been the peak of my high school internship experience because the atmosphere at Ivystone was just right. Everyone was so positive and welcoming. I loved my job and learned that being adaptable will get you far in life. My supervisor, Ryan, always took time out of his busy schedule to help me and check on me and that meant a lot. I learned how easy it is to grow in new environments. Having the opportunity to gain corporate job experience has helped me understand where I want to go and who I want to be.”
– Ivystone’s Senior Intern
Ivystone is extremely proud to partner with Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School to help create positive opportunities for our youth!
* Information for this post provided by Ryan Lohan, Operations Manager at Ivystone. Ryan oversaw Ivystone’s four Cristo Rey Interns. Thank you, Ryan, for helping Ivystone partner with Cristo Rey!