Can a 16 year old learn confidence and self-advocacy at work?

Stephanie is a junior working for a Cristo Rey business partner in customer service. She has always felt that her job, working for a branch manager, was an ideal position. She enjoys the steep learning curve involved with working in a fast-paced department.

But this day brought sad news. She was being moved to another floor. Confused and a bit upset, she packed up her desk, “I wasn’t so sure about it, but of course, I agreed. I didn’t see how I could do anything else.”

Oddly, soon after Stephanie finished moving to her new desk, she was instructed to move back to her original spot. “I was becoming more frustrated and sad, because all of this was happening without any communication with me. I started to feel a little pushed around”.

Soon after she got settled back in, there was a notification that she was going to be moved back upstairs and she should wait until the end of the day to do so. More upset and now unsure if she could handle the situation, she emailed Mr. Weinberg (Director of the CWSP) to schedule a short call. The two discussed the possibility of meeting with her supervisor in the event that it was a simple case of miscommunication.

“My first reaction to his suggestion was no! But as the day wore on, the thought of discovering why
all this had occurred, and if I had done something wrong gave me a sense of empowerment; so I asked
my supervisor for a meeting.”

As you may have suspected, her performance was not in question, and she was assured that she had done nothing wrong. Stephanie was told that the re-locations were a miscue and shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

Many of us can relate to the challenges young people face striving to find confidence and learning how to self-advocate. The staff of the Corporate Work Study Program will tell you that they see stories of “becoming” like this all the time; it’s what keeps them motivated. Stephanie’s take-away is one of those…

“Before the Corporate Work-Study Program, I always had my mom advocate for me. I never felt
the courage and self-confidence to advocate for myself or share my concerns with any superior.
After my meeting I felt empowered; like I deserved to be working there. All of the doubt was gone.
I learned the importance of communication and how much the Corporate Work Study Program
has taught me”


If you know of any companies that could benefit from our corporate work study program, please contact Brian Weinberg at: 224-219-9724