The Employment Services team is providing support to high school students who are embarking on their first summer jobs. Through Summer Work Experience (SWE), which is funded through Vocational Rehabilitation, students have the opportunity to gain practical work experience while honing their soft skills. With a commitment of 20 hours per week, the students carry out their assigned duties and participate in activities aimed at enhancing their professionalism, teamwork, and attitude. At Schnucks in St. Peters, several of this year’s participants have taken on responsibilities such as collecting carts, bagging groceries, and organizing store shelves.
Chris and Bryan are among the motivated students who are navigating through their first job together, and they are not just co-workers; they are brothers too. While some siblings may hesitate to spend an entire summer working side by side, Chris and Bryan express genuine appreciation for the shared experience. Chris said, “It’s kinda cool and makes it easier to work with someone I know.” Bryan enthusiastically added, “Oh yeah, definitely. It makes it more fun.”
They both agree that their favorite task so far is collecting carts, to get some fresh air for a while. Bryan also enjoys interacting with everyone, saying, “The people I work with and the customers have all been nice.” The anticipation of receiving their first paycheck is exciting, and they both plan to save it. Outside of work, they also share hobbies. Bryan mentioned that they have fun playing football and jogging on the school’s track, while Chris said, “We like to play video games, hang out, and roughhouse like brothers do.”
When discussing their plans after graduation, Chris expressed his ambition to become an IT Technician and plans to attend St. Charles Community College. Bryan envisions a hands-on career in carpentry. He said, “I like moving around, doing things with my hands and being active.”
Abbigail, a dedicated Vocational Case Manager, loves her time working alongside the students in the SWE program. She exclaimed, “SWE is my favorite time of the year! It is always so rewarding to build relationships with the students and see how much they improve.” During these six weeks, it is also a learning experience for employers. Abbigail said, “I think it is great for employers to see how valuable and what an asset our clients can be to their team.”
Abbigail noted that Chris and Bryan are among the most polite and respectful students she has met in the program. She praises their positive attitude, willingness to complete tasks with a smile, and their strong work ethic. “Their can do attitude will take them far. They know how to work hard and have fun doing so,” she said.
“Their can do attitude will take them far.
They know how to work hard & have fun doing so.”