Seven years in and the Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HWSC) only continues to prove its value to the students and community of Gates Chili.
HWSC started at Gates Chili with 30 high school freshmen in the 2015-16 school year. Since then, the program’s innovative collaboration with the school district has addressed the goals of increasing student engagement and preparing students for life after high school.
Students participate in a variety of enrichment activities throughout the year, but at its core, the program has a focus on enriching life and social skills and ensuring students are career or college aware and ready. This nationally-recognized youth development program helps students stay in school, achieve academic success and graduate from high school with the skills and confidence they need to be successful at home, at college and at the workplace.
"I appreciate being able to be a part of Hillside because it’s helped me in so many ways,” shared senior Nazierra Harris. “Hillside has helped me get a job and success more academically. Also, Hillside has allowed me to see plays about other cultures and music that I really enjoyed and it’s a great opportunity all around.”
A key to this innovative program is students’ eligibility for part-time employment at local businesses based on their school commitment and success. This gives students the workforce readiness skills to succeed in entry-level employment after high school and in any future employment opportunities.