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Successfully Navigating Virtual Work-Study and Class Curriculum

Cristo Rey Jesuit Founding President Fr. TJ Martinez, SJ, would be incredibly proud of the Cristo Rey Jesuit community as we successfully navigate through online learning and prepare students to work virtually at their work-study jobs.  “We do the difficult first, and the impossible soon after,” was one of Fr. Martinez’s inspirational mottos.  Cristo Rey Jesuit faculty and staff are dedicated each day to virtually teaching and supporting our students — stepping up to tackle both the difficult and impossible, especially during this unprecedented pandemic.

Currently, classes are held synchronously and asynchronously each week, and workplace learning has been incorporated into weekly student schedules. Students are completing an online curriculum with their Corporate Work-Study Program sponsors, and meet weekly with their work supervisors. As part of the curriculum, they are also taking interactive business and problem-solving classes, learning new software programs, and completing Microsoft Office-integrated projects to help prepare and connect them with their work-study jobs.  

Kim Worchesik, Office Manager at EIV Capital, LLC, one of our corporate partners, recently met during online orientation with the two student-team members she’ll be supervising. Patti Melcher, EIV Capital Co-Founder and Managing Partner, specifically wanted to mentor female students, so one female student from the freshmen and the sophomore class were assigned to EIV. Since EIV is a majority women-owned business, this is a great opportunity for the students to have a female role model and experience women-led leadership skills. 

“This will be our sixth year as a corporate sponsor and I love it,” said Worchesik, who still keeps in contact with former student workers. “We are all partners — learning and working together. The students will learn a lot, but it will require that we communicate well. Communication is key.”

Cristo Rey Jesuit students are equally excited to start working virtually with their company’s corporate sponsors. “I’m looking forward to working with a team and becoming more outgoing because I’m pretty shy,” said Miranda, the 10th grade student assigned to work at EIV.

Raquetta Portalatin, General Affairs Supervisor at Mitsui E&P USA LLC, another corporate partner, recently met online with her student workers.  She told her new student employees, “We pride ourselves on our very diverse workforce at Mitsui. Once students start working on site in our offices, they will get experience on every floor, completing a variety of tasks. However, in the meantime, we will get to know the students virtually and develop their skills,” Portalatin added. “We enjoy mentoring the students, and we appreciate their great attitudes and personalities.”