At Greenwich High School, Making a Difference: An Online Community That Works

Here is some more good news coming out of GHS.

Reprinted with permission from Kate Hohorst, Student Employment Service Coordinator. Originally printed in the PTA e-FOCUS 2014.

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SES Students currently employed by Zaniac (left to right): John Clark, GHS 2014; Phillip Chew, UConn
graduate & GHS 2009; Arun Drelich, GHS 2014; Matt Parron, Fairfield University & GHS 2013; Matt Baptist, GHS 2014; Gunja Shah, GHS 2016; Stephanie Treirweiler, GHS 2014; William Hohorst (horizontal), GHS 2014. Photo courtesy of Zaniac.

Student Employment Service (SES) is a real online community. It is a safe place where Greenwich youth (ages 14-25) can reach out and find job opportunities that meet their needs and interests. It is also a place where over 2,800 employers, Greenwich residents and local companies and organizations, can post jobs and access a wide talent pool of nearly 5,000 Greenwich students and graduates.

In the middle are approximately 30 PTA volunteers who donate two and a half hours of their time weekly or biweekly to assist employers, maintain and update the databank, answer emails and phone queries, and help students register and navigate the site.

How active is SES? Every year we sign up between 250 and 400 new employers, post between 1200 and 1800 opportunities, and register over 600 students. How important is this service to our students? Very. In a study conducted for the US Department of Education in 2010 at GHS by researchers from Fairfield University: 88% of our students recognized that their work experiences made them better prepared to enter the workforce and continue their academic career; 62% felt their part-time increased the relevancy of their school work; and 40% felt that SES was helping them stay in school. Working is very important to the welfare of young people.*

SES posts all types of jobs including: childcare, tutoring, eldercare, camp jobs, tech jobs, office jobs, and one shot jobs. The money students earn helps them provide for their needs, and brings life and revenue to our local businesses. SES staff generously contribute their time not just to help students, our school and our town, but because we are inspired by these young minds and their amazing work ethic, and by the many devoted employers who understand it is important to help kids obtain work.

Many local business rely on our talented youth to run their operations and in December 2013 Zaniac, a STEM based educational technology venture, was opened in Greenwich with a business model that relies on SES to find students to teach math, science and technology. To quote co-founder  Camilla  Gazal:  “My  biggest worry in setting up our business was how to find talented students. SES completely solved this problem. It is an amazing resource for us.”

SES staff agree and we would not exist without the support of the GHS PTA which has backed the operation for over 40 years, including the technological innovation in 2006 that created our on-line community. So hats off to the GHS PTA!

To sign up as an employer with SES, please register online at www.ghs-ses.org. SES is always in need of new volunteers. If you are interested, please call Kate Hohorst, SES PTA Coordinator, at 203-253-2662.
*Results from a 2010 SBIR U.S. Department of Education Grant awarded to Student Employment Software LLC.

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