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Loyola Limited to hire, mentor local teens

Loyola Limited to hire, mentor local teens

Under the initiative, high school students will get a chance to work in one of Loyola Limited’s businesses (such as Felice’s, above).

By Elizabeth Czapski  |  Student reporter

Helping the community is Loyola Limited’s latest addition to its business agenda. The student-run enterprise, which operates businesses such as Felice’s restaurant and Chainlinks bike shop, recently submitted a proposal for an initiative to employ six students from Sullivan High School in Rogers Park.

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Loyola’s Plan 2020 is a five-year roadmap to guide the University and promote social justice. This story falls into one of the strategic priorities outlined in the plan. Learn more here.

Nick Coulson, Loyola Limited’s director of human resources, and Sean Connolly, assistant director of Loyola Limited, presented the proposal in October as part of “Plan 2020: Building a More Just, Humane, and Sustainable World,” Loyola’s five-year strategic plan. The proposal—the first Plan 2020 initiative to be developed and brought forth by Loyola students—falls under the fourth institutional priority of the plan, which focuses on developing partnerships within the local community.

Coulson said after hearing about Plan 2020, Loyola Limited thought it could help them turn an existing idea into a reality.

“[This is] something we’ve always wanted to do, but we just never had the means within our own budget to do it,” he said.

Coulson and Connolly’s idea was to hire six high school students to work at Loyola Limited businesses. Loyola Limited will also add a new student position—high school employment program coordinator—to oversee the program.

Employment sites include Felice’s, Chainlinks, and the Loyola Limited office. High school students will gain experience at all three as they rotate throughout the duration of the program.

The proposal, Connolly said, provides a safe after-school activity for teens and will provide them with transferable skills as they prepare for college and careers. The high school students will also get a head start on planning for the future with campus tours, assistance with applications, and seminars on resume building.

“It’s more than just working within our own businesses,” Coulson said. “It is giving them a full-fledged program experience.”

The proposal is meant to benefit not just the Sullivan High School students but everyone involved. Loyola Limited’s regular student employees will have the chance to mentor high school students working there, serving as role models and giving advice when needed. “I’ve seen what a connection between a high school student and a college student like myself can do,” Coulson said.

Connolly hopes that during the program’s first year, which begins in 2017, the high school and college students—as well as the Sullivan and Loyola administrations—will view the program positively. After that, the program could increase the number of high school students employed at Loyola, although six is a promising start, Coulson said.

“Obviously right now it’s only six students, but that’s six lives that we’re now able to impact,” he said.