Saint Viator High School’s Corporate Work Study Program was designed to make a Catholic education more affordable for families with limited income. The program places students in entry-level summer jobs at local corporations, where they will earn up to $3,000 toward tuition.
The program got underway this week with a training session led by Jill Bogaerts, office manager at Kelleher & Buckley. The suburban law firm was part of a pilot program last summer, which offered four students jobs at two law firms run by Saint
Viator alumni, including Andy Kelleher ’86 and Dean Niro ’82 of Niro, Haller & Niro in Chicago.
“We’re committed to making a Saint Viator education available to kids at all income levels,” President Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, said. “We’re also committed to cutting-edge ways to prepare kids for today’s professional world. This program keeps both those commitments.”
Jobs in the program are limited. Student selection was based
on maturity level and financial need, with priority going to students in need of more than a half tuition scholarship.
But school officials say the benefits go beyond gaining financial aid. They point to students getting real world experience and being immersed in a professional environment, as well as beginning to build a network of business contacts before entering college.
This summer, 11 different companies are participating in the program by hiring Saint Viator students. They run the gamut, and students were placed, in part, by their interest.
They include an architecture firm, a suburban bank, a creative design firm, two insurance companies, two nonprofits, three law firms and the corporate office of a meat packing company.
Bart Hisgen, who formerly worked for Catholic Theological Union and for the Viatorian Community, is serving as coordinator of the program.