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Rogers’ partnership gives Milwaukee high school students professional skills, provides teammates a helping hand

06/14/23 03:30:pm

Since 2015, Rogers has provided 43 students — most of whom are first-generation college attendees — from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee with professional work experience through their Corporate Work Study Program, which prepares students for secondary education.

“Since partnering with this program, students have worked in various departments at Rogers, including Purchasing, Talent Development, Human Resources, Rogers Foundation, Patient Financial Services, and Information Technology Services,” says Jennifer Hoffman, campus relations recruiter.

Each student works one day out of the workweek and rotates Fridays, allowing an additional workday once a month. This school year, two students worked in Brown Deer and one was in Oconomowoc.

“We’re providing students the opportunity to obtain valuable professional skills that they otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to acquire,” she says. “Rogers, in turn, gives back to the communities we serve.”

Additionally, Rogers’ teammates have someone reliable to assist with their work.

“Once trained on their specific duties, the students are eager to perform tasks while continuing to learn more,” she says. “This builds a passion and strong work ethic that we can continue to fuel. This past school year, all Cristo Rey students at Rogers received an average feedback score of 95% or higher from their supervisors.”

Julisa worked with the Foundation

julisa (1).jpgThe Foundation has been working with Cristo Rey students since the partnership with Rogers began. This year Julisa, a junior, joined the team.

“She did a lot of odds-and-ends projects that are time consuming, especially when it comes to our events,” says Laura Miller, Foundation development coordinator. “She put our table tents together and double checked sponsorships. She also assisted with tasks when our administrative assistant was on leave for a few months. It was super helpful to have that support. We’ve been pleased with all our Cristo Rey students.”

Laura says working with the Foundation is unique in that it gives students experience with the nonclinical side of Rogers.

“They get to see what’s involved with raising funds and whether nonprofit work interests them for a future career,” she says.

Julisa says working with the Foundation was a great experience.

“I liked that I did a variety of tasks,” says Julisa. “I learned new skills, like how to scan and email a document and how to save the scanned document to a folder. I worked on the website and got to see all the aspects of planning an event. Now I feel that I have basic skills for an office setting that will help me in the future.”

Julisa also says she was inspired working at Rogers.

“My experience spurred my interest in how the brain works,” she says. “Now I’m considering majoring in psychology in college.”

Arlin worked with WISE and Community Learning and Engagement

arlin.jpgArlin recently graduated valedictorian from Cristo Rey. She spent the school year working with the WISE and Community Learning and Engagement teams. This was Arlin’s second time working at Rogers. As a freshman, she worked with the Foundation.

“Jennifer reached out to us to see if we would be interested in a student,” says Hanna Maechtle, community learning and engagement training specialist. “Since we don’t have an administrative assistant, we have plenty of work we need help with.”

Hanna managed Arlin’s work with the teams, which included helping with WISE newsletters.

“She was incredibly integral in helping collect data, tracking our registrations, following up on emails we receive, and sending out our Safe Person decals,” says Hanna. “She looked at some of our content from a youth perspective to see if it resonates with a teenager and she translated some of our materials into Spanish.”

“She really became part our team,” says Alison Wolf, operation and development manager, Community Learning and Engagement and WISE. “We’re truly sad to see her go.”

Hanna says it was also a great opportunity to get supervisory experience.

“I did weekly 30-minute check-ins to make sure we were on the same page about tasks that needed to be done,” she says. “I reviewed a weekly report Arlin submitted to the school in addition to completing a performance review midway through the year and at the end of the year. She made it incredibly easy. It was a small touch for me of what it’s like managing someone, so it was a good learning experience.”

Hanna says working with Arlin was also personally rewarding.

“It felt good supporting someone who may not have had an opportunity like this, yet works so hard and has a bright future,” she says. “It’s been really good for my own well-being to know we are able to make a difference. Arlin deserves to feel successful and supported by a team. It was a great experience helping her develop skills and watching her grow through the year.”

Arlin says working at Rogers was very worthwhile.

“I have skills that I wouldn’t have gained if I didn’t have the opportunity to work in the Community Learning and Engagement department here at Rogers,” says Arlin. “I was able to gain insight into the field I want to work with in the future and it’s reinforced my desire to study psychology and advocate for mental health.”

Hanna and Alison, along with the rest of the team, will be cheering Arlin on as she studies psychology at Notre Dame in the fall.

Mia worked in Brown Deer

Mia (1).jpgKristin Hoot, program specialist in Brown Deer, worked with Mia, who just finished her freshman year at Cristo Rey.

“When Mia started, she assisted with different administrative needs, like filling in dashboards and data sets for metric tracking, helping with the day treatment dismissal process, and performing some general reception tasks,” says Kristin. “She eventually took on a heavier load of reception duties, including sending out letters to schools and families. She helped to create an Excel SharePoint dashboard and maintained it throughout the school year. She did such a great job, and even trained a Rogers team member who took over when Mia’s time here ended.”

Kristin says Mia not only met but exceeded her expectations.

“She was very motivated, productive, and asked appropriate questions to make sure she was on task,” says Kristin. “She is delightful and always had a positive attitude! It was a lot of fun getting to know her and watching her mature and grow as an employee.”

Kristin says Mia taught her about being a good leader and supervisor.

“Quite honestly, I think I learned as much from her as she learned from me. She often provided me with a different perspective and way to think about things. I always thought part of being a good leader meant teaching new things, providing corrective action, redirection, or sometimes even offering uncomfortable feedback. But it also means being supportive and compassionate, and listening to the people you’re working with. When I was doing all these things we worked the best together, and honestly, it was when she did her best work.”

Mia says she learned valuable skills while working in Brown Deer.

“I improved my ability to do all of my work before a certain time period,” says Mia. “I also got better at interacting with people who are not in my age group. I really enjoyed my time here and working with my supervisor, Ms. Kristin.”

“If I could hire her today I would,” says Kristin. “She understood things quickly and accurately.”

Interested in participating in the program?

If your department is interested in participating in the 2023-2024 school year, please contact Jennifer Hoffman at Jennifer.Hoffman@rogersbh.org.

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