JWC students lend a hand to HISD schools

JWC students lend a hand to HISD schools
Posted on 10/07/2016

If you stop by the copy room at Leal Middle School on any given school day before noon, you’ll likely be greeted by a contagious smile.

Lucero Fernandez is one of the five Jewel Wietzel Center students developing her jobs skills at Leal MS. She loads paper in the copy machine, runs copies, delivers the final product to the classrooms and always wears a smile.

“I love making copies and delivering them to classrooms,” Lucero said. “I love it here and I’m so glad to be here.”

For Leal MS Copy Clerk Lisa Gomez, having Lucero around is a blessing.

“She is my number one help,” Gomez said. “She has a positive attitude and learns very quickly.”

Other JWC students help out in the cafeteria by packing breakfast bags, wiping tables, sweeping and mopping. The students also develop their job skills in the library by putting away books, cleaning tables and dusting shelves.

“We love having the trainees from the Jewel Wietzel Center here,” Leal Middle School Principal Geraldine Balleza said. “They help us so much and they add another dimension to our school. What they have given our teachers and other staff members is a real opportunity to work with students other than the traditional students that we receive on a regular basis.”

The training is part of the Harlandale Opportunity Post Secondary (HOPS) program at the Jewel Wietzel Center. HOPS partners with businesses in the community that allow students to job train. The students rotate between these different companies to hone their skills and figure which job best first their strengths.

This is the first year HOPS has partnered with HISD schools. Students job train at Leal, Kingsborough, Schulze, Adams and Morrill.

“The whole idea is to give the students different opportunities,” JWC Job Coach Holly Guerrero said. “It gives them different options of what they might be interested in as far as when they are done with the HOPS program.” 
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