Partners for Education
Every week, four young men from Verbum Dei High School arrive at LMU to carry out office duties throughout campus. They update files, answer phones, copy reports and schedule meetings, among other general administrative tasks. The students are part of a corporate work-study program that subsidizes a portion of their tuition while they acquire “real world” work experience at LMU.
Located in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Verbum Dei High School is a Jesuit college-prep high school for boys mostly from low-income families. For the past five years, LMU has sponsored four high school students who work five days a month during the academic year. Each student earns an annual salary of $25,000, all of which goes toward their high school tuition and the corporate work-study program.
Julie Schultz, executive assistant to senior vice president and CFO at LMU, serves as liaison between LMU and Verbum Dei. She also supervises some of the students and believes the exchange program benefits them not only by the tuition relief, but by becoming a part of the LMU community.
“They are extremely hard-working students, and we embrace them as part of our family,” said Schultz. “Our goal as supervisors is to mentor them and shape them into professional young men.”
At LMU, the high school students have earned a reputation for punctuality, professionalism and dedication, says Schultz. Students have worked in the controller’s office, university relations, athletics, conferences and events, mailing services and other departments. This year, Loyola Law School will join the partnership and sponsor four students.
Schultz believes that by being at LMU, student’s awareness and interest in pursuing a college education increases. After graduating some of the students have applied to attend LMU. Others have put their work experience to the test and successfully acquired permanent positions on campus. “It is rewarding to watch them start out as quiet and shy, and as the year goes by they open up and develop as professionals,” Schultz said.