A dozen business leaders braved cold weather recently to help give a facelift to portions of the campus at Baton Rouge’s innovative work-study high school.
The projects at Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School were part of our Management Incubator, a development program for talented individual contributors who are emerging as leaders within organizations. The Management Incubator offers rising leaders insight into their leadership styles and potential challenges, strengths and weaknesses.
The four-week program features competency-based leadership assessments, experiential learning, individual coaching and development planning — capped off by a community-based project.
For our most recent program, we partnered with Cristo Rey, which is working to equip underserved youth with the education and skills to succeed in college and the workplace. The school’s unique model combines college preparatory education with a Corporate Work Study Program that places students into jobs with area companies for five days a month. Parents pay a portion of student tuition based on a sliding scale, and the students work to cover the gap.
For the community project, the Management Incubator participants split into two teams — Team Highland and Team Benchwarmers (an appropriate name given what their project entailed). Each group was given a starting budget and tasked with working with the school administrators and students to determine areas of the campus that could be upgraded.
Team Highland included Ashleigh Felder, Connor Hinson, Felicia Armand, Whitney Craig, Heath Slack, Ella Ardoin-ursin, Aston Williams. For its project, the team refurbished a group of picnic tables in a back courtyard, installed large umbrellas on the tables, and moved shrubbery to provide a more convenient access to the area.
Craig, who works for Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, says in consultations students had identified more shady places where they could visit with friends, eat lunch and study as a priority. The team sanded, primed and sealed the picnic tables, and also provided paints, so the upcoming senior classes can decorate them to leave their mark for the year.
“We all need help and we all need to help each other,” Craig says. “The school has been through a lot with flooding. We were able to come and let the faculty, students and staff that we care about them and want to make a difference with them.”
Team Benchwarmers members were Chris Dickerson, Khris Hobbs, Dana Rachal, Seth Jergenson, Ethan Williams, Macie Genova and Stephanie Fenwick. They concentrated on the front of the school, where students often congregate.
In meeting with the team, the students said they often sat on railings lining the entrance walkways and wanted more secure places to sit. The team responded by constructing more than 60 feet of heavy-duty wooden benches in the space. They also added a basketball goal, and improved the drainage of a campus entranceway that frequently flooded.
Both teams truly embraced the spirit of the both the Management Incubator program and the community impact project, offering their creativity and dedication in equal parts. At Success Labs, we are grateful to have the opportunity to assist an excellent organization like Cristo Rey that is making such a positive impact in the Baton Rouge community.
The Management Incubator series is finished for 2018, but we’re already planning our 2019 programs. Participants leave with an understanding of the competencies they’ll need as they take the next steps in their careers and action plans to help develop those competencies. The ideal candidate is a successful individual contributor who was recently promoted or is being considered for promotion to a supervision or management position. Contact us to learn more.