Jobs with a Serious Impact: Work-Study in MKE

Jasmine Woodley works with a student at Maryland Avenue Montessori School.

Jasmine Woodley works as a tutor at Clarke Street School, Maryland Avenue Montessori School and St. Joan Antida High School. (UWM photo by Peter Jakubowski)

Jasmine Woodley has discovered a way to help pay for her education while helping others.

Woodley, a nursing student at UWM, works as a tutor through the university’s America Reads program, which is coordinated through the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR).

Since she was in her first year at UWM, Woodley has been helping elementary and high school students who need some individualized attention with reading and mathematics. Currently, she’s working at Clarke Street School, Maryland Avenue Montessori School and St. Joan Antida High School.

Woodley is among hundreds of UWM students earning bi-weekly paychecks at their work-study jobs. The CCBLLR is trying to add to the list of jobs available to students through partnerships with off-campus nonprofit agencies, according to Rachel Spaulding, director of community-based learning for the center. Students can gain experience directly in their professional fields, work hand-in-hand with local residents, and explore new areas of Milwaukee’s diverse community while earning money to support their education.

Jenna Terek, pictured here at the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, is gaining valuable experience in her profession by working with Milwaukee Urban Gardens.

Jenna Terek, pictured here at the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, is gaining valuable experience in her profession by working with Milwaukee Urban Gardens.

Jenna Terek, a freshman in the Department of Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS), assists in planning, implementing and evaluating programs as the outreach and program intern at Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG). In this job, she works to promote the organization’s mission, maintains the membership database, helps maintain e-tools (web-content, e-newsletters and social media) and connects with garden owners to help make improvements.

“Milwaukee Urban Gardens has been a great opportunity to learn professional office skills while making an impact in the Milwaukee community,” says Terek. “Not only have I learned about the organization and its purpose, but I have developed personal skills that will be useful in my future career field.”

Al Newbauer, a junior majoring in Secondary English Education and an avid bike enthusiast, bikes over to Maryland Avenue Montessori every Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 a.m. One of his many roles in the community is as an America Reads tutor in Ashley Petry’s classroom.

“I am lucky, because I am getting community involvement and building relationships at more than one school with qualified teachers, so it’s like a field experience for my English teaching career,” he says. “It’s the best opportunity I’ve come across while at UWM because it is so relevant and gets me all around my community.”

Woodley says she particularly enjoys working with elementary students.

“I like being with them and seeing how excited the children are when they get an assignment done or a problem solved. I like challenging them and showing the way.”

UWM work-study students also travel off campus to work at the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) Help In Re-Employment Center, also known as the HIRE Center. The HIRE Center is a full-service workforce program that provides training, education and re-employment services for dislocated workers residing in or laid off from employment in Milwaukee County.

“Our partnership with UWM’s Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research has allowed us to provide an enhanced service to Milwaukee’s dislocated worker population,” says Alba Baltodano, HIRE Center Director.

Al Newbauer, a junior majoring in Secondary English Education, bikes to Maryland Avenue Montessori School for his work-study job as a tutor.

Al Newbauer, a junior majoring in Secondary English Education, bikes to Maryland Avenue Montessori School for his work-study job as a tutor.

Work-study students have helped develop and deliver Hmong/English Bilingual service programs, an Electronic Resume Bank that helps quickly match job leads to job seekers, one-on-one job search assistance for those who have not used a computer, and research and dissemination of available social services, job leads and labor market information.

“The HIRE Center is an amazing organization because of the different programs offered to get people back on their feet and provides helpful services to better the community,” says Lue Vang, a UWM work-study intern in the agency’s resource room.

Under the direction of Fred Schnook, Area Director of the Labor Education and Training Center (a HIRE Center partner), the work-study students have thrived. “We really value our partnership with UW-Milwaukee’s work-study student program,” said Schnook. “The students have become an invaluable part of our service provider team.”

America Reads, Milwaukee Urban Gardens and the Milwaukee HIRE Center are just a few examples of the successful work-study partnerships UWM and the nonprofit community, according to Spaulding. Nearly 500 work-study students are gaining valuable training, experience and wages every day at more than 20 nonprofits and MPS sites, she notes.

For more information about becoming a work-study site, or obtaining a position, please email Rachel Spaulding at rachels9@uwm.edu or stop in to the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, located at Union G28.