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Giving students a taste of a corporate career

Learning how to communicate with colleagues, manage time wisely and problem solve — these are some of the challenges everyone faces when starting out in the working world. Students from Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School are getting a head start on mastering them, along with a glimpse at life as an employee of a leading corporation, through a unique work-study program.

Cristo Rey is a college preparatory school located in Atlanta, Georgia. Part of the Cristo Rey Network of schools, it’s designed to provide a rigorous prep school education to students who would not otherwise be able to afford one, and also to demonstrate that at-risk students can succeed both academically and professionally when granted access to a high-quality education.

Through the school’s Corporate Work Study Program, students work five days a month at a leading local business, learning skills they’ll one day need in the workforce and at the same time earning enough income to pay a large portion of their tuition costs. Four students share one entry-level job for approximately nine months per year.

Watch the video to meet three of Cristo Rey’s work-study students and hear firsthand about what they’ve learned during their tenure at Southern Company. Two are interning with Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, and one with Southern Company Gas.

Stephanie Villasenor-Caballero works in the claims department at Southern Company Gas. “Everyone around me always motivates me, and they’re always telling me to strive high and to keep going.”

Many Cristo Rey students do just that. Thanks in part to their working-world experience and the confidence boost they gain from it, they go on to college in record numbers, ready to conquer that challenge — and whatever comes next.