Internships Equal Bright Futures for Chicago Students

Recently, CVS Health published an article on their corporate Intranet about their partnership with the Cristo Rey St. Martin Corporate Work Study Program; it is re-printed here with permission.  Thank you CVS for the kind words and continued support for our students through this program.

Internships Equal Bright Futures for Chicago Students
by Holly Steel, Corporate Communications, CVS Health

Rebecca is articulate and poised beyond her 15 years. A volleyball-loving sophomore at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, she is one of three CRSM Students who work at the CVS Health office in Northbrook, IL.

“Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study program gives students from limited economic means hands-on experience in a business environment,” explains Janice Giraldo, Senior Finance Manager, who was instrumental in bringing the internship program to CVS Health in 2015. “Through this partnership, we help students acquire marketable skills, build a network of contacts and gain self-esteem. We’re investing in our communities and the next generation of talent.” The Northbrook location has provided internships for 12 students in the past three years.

In exchange for the time spent working, CVS Health covers over 60 percent of the school’s tuition for Rebecca and her fellow interns.

Cristo Rey is a network of high schools that serve over 12,000 students at 35 locations across the country. Its goal is to provide a quality, college prep education in communities with limited educational options. Through the Corporate Work Study Program, they are creating purposeful young professionals. The 2018 graduating class at Cristo Rey St. Martin had a 97 percent acceptance rate to four-year colleges and universities.

Rebecca, who just began her second year as an intern in the Legal Department, researches and compiles content into an Excel format and helps with administrative duties. “I’ve learned a lot,” she says proudly. “I know that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a law that protects patients’ medical records and health information, and that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the European law for collecting and using personal information.”

Mary Martersteck, an advisor in Information Governance & Privacy Operations, is Rebecca’s mentor. “Rebecca has adjusted beautifully to an environment of adults. She’s smart, has great energy and a phenomenal work ethic. It’s especially refreshing to see that in a high school student,” adds Mary.

Mentoring Matters

The benefits of at-risk youth being mentored by CVS Health colleagues and other participating companies are enormous. According to research compiled by the National Mentoring Partnership, mentored students are 55 percent more likely to be enrolled in college, 78 percent more likely to volunteer in their communities, and 130 percent more likely to hold leadership positions in club and sports activities.

Rebecca credits her strong work ethic in part to her Catholic education and support from her parents. “They want me to succeed just like my brother who goes to Central Michigan University,” she adds. Yet, she’s forthcoming about the challenges. “I know people my age who don’t like that I’m moving ahead. I don’t let it get to me. I’ve got my eyes on the prize – college and then a good job.”

As for a career, Rebecca once dreamed of being a doctor, now she’s leaning toward business. “I don’t think I want to be a CEO though, it sounds like a lot of responsibility.”