All Kinds of News for May 08, 2019
EDGE Learning and Wellness has always encouraged its students to find interests outside of the classroom. A recent trip to Navy Pier’s third annual job fair further strengthened this encouragement, as students had the chance to discover summer employment options while practicing skills they’ve learned during EDGE coaching sessions.
Nearly 20 businesses across the Pier came out to the fair to fill more than 900 seasonal employment opportunities in restaurants, retail shops, popular Pier attractions, and more. Participating businesses included Ben and Jerry’s, Big Bus Tours Chicago, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Giordano’s, and Shoreline Sightseeing.
“The job fair afforded students the opportunity to interface with various prospective employers,” said EDGE Program Director Jean Hausmann, LCSW. “Most students practiced skills built with our learning coordinator during coaching sessions: getting dressed in business professional clothing, filling out a job application, and setting up interviews.”
During the fair, many students expressed interest in restaurant groups, and most completed several applications before leaving the event.
“The Navy Pier job fair was a friendly environment where I gained a lot of information about various jobs in and around the Navy Pier area,” said one EDGE student. “I was able to use the time to connect with professionals, schedule interviews, and ultimately walk out of the fair with a job!”
EDGE learning coaching helped students like the one above achieve success at the fair. Throughout their time at EDGE, students receive career development support from the EDGE Learning Coordinator during every step of the job search process. This includes help with areas such as creating cover letters and résumés, conducting mock interviews, identifying skills, using proper email etiquette, and navigating networking events. This support is tailored to each student’s individual needs, goals, and past experiences.
“Some students arrive at EDGE with a goal of obtaining a full-time job or balancing school and a part-time job, but many students come into the program with a sole focus on school,” said EDGE Learning Coordinator Anne Walchak. “A job can build self-esteem, which is especially important for students who have struggled with motivation or visualizing a future career after an academic failure.”
In addition to occupational pursuits, EDGE supports its students outside of the classroom by encouraging fitness, recreational, artistic, and volunteer opportunities. The program currently has students practicing art and dance, learning Mandarin, coding, and Brazilian jiu jitsu, joining improv classes, trying boxing, joining rowing teams, volunteering for local political campaigns, and working on yoga teacher certifications — all outside of traditional college campuses.
“Interests outside of the classroom can provide an outlet for physical or creative energy, expands students’ social groups outside of EDGE, allows students to become more comfortable moving through Chicago, and lets students take risks in a safe and engaging space,” said Walchack. “Through our work, we are able to connect students’ pursuits outside of the classroom to any work they may be doing inside the classroom.”
About EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community
EDGE Learning and Wellness Collegiate Community is an accredited transitional living program located in Chicago, IL. EDGE offers therapeutically supported residential and non-residential options for post-treatment young adults. The participants, ages 18 -24, are striving to excel academically, while creating a life of balance, joy and wellness.