Christ the King High School students share Chicago City Hall job

December 12, 2012 (CHICAGO)

Robinson, a senior, and three other students from Christ the King High School in the Austin neighborhood do entry level work at City Hall. They share one job, each putting in one day a week.

"Now when I go off to college, I don't have to adjust to different things. I'm already ahead of the game," Robinson said.

It's a first job for 14-year-old Christ King freshman Tia Maracasey.

"It's been a wonderful experience for me because normally, I'm not used to talking to a lot of people. I'm in my comfort zone and meet new people, learn new things," Maracasey said.

"All of our students come from low-income families and this is a way for them to get exposure to see a world that's beyond their neighborhood," Father Christopher Devrono, Christ the King High School, said. "Having our students learn how to look people in the eye, shake hands, make small talk."

All 300 Christ the King High School students are part of a job-sharing program that's sponsored by corporations. CCNA Insurance sponsors the City Hall job.

All the entry level jobs are shared between four students. The jobs pay $31,000, and that money is divided and put toward the students' tuitions at Christ the King.

"I wanted to make sure that if I was challenging the private sector to stand up, I was not just talking the talk, I was walking the walk," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. He had promised to add a city job to the program after speaking to the graduating class at Christ the King in the spring.

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