Work-study program going away in Fall 2013

By Erica Martinez, Pulse staff writer

Jennifer Cepeda, a sophomore work-study in the Advising Center, helps a Palo Alto College student register for classes.<br />Photo by Erica Martinez.
Jennifer Cepeda, a sophomore work-study in the Advising Center, helps a Palo Alto College student register for classes.
Photo by Erica Martinez.

In fall 2013, the work-study program will no longer be available to students at all Alamo Colleges because of sequestration of the federal budget by the U.S. Congress.

Shirley Leija, Palo Alto College associate director of Student Financial Services, said, “Our work-studies are very important to us. I know the departments are going to miss it tremendously because they are like our little backbone. It’s going to have a huge impact. It’s going to have a different impact in every office, as well.”

Federal work-study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for their education expenses.

“I like work-study. My favorite thing is that they work with my school schedule, and you must be able to multi-task,” said Ryan Obaya, a Computer Science major working in the Office of Student Engagement and Retention.

Departments throughout Palo Alto College depend on student workers to organize files, help set up events and help collect recycling throughout the college. Several departments throughout Palo Alto College have student tutors in Math, Science, Reading and English, while other offices hire students to make copies, create schedules and answer the phones.

“I heard they’re taking away work-study in the fall. It is something we are all worried about,” said Jason Fernandez, a work-study in the Advising Center. “I love my job; I love helping students sign up for classes and helping them register with the school. It makes me feel good.”

Fernandez said, “In the end, though, it’s life. People do lose their jobs at times, and you just have to deal with it. There’s nothing we can do about it, but if there’s an alternate program to work-study, I will definitely apply in the fall.”

For some students, work-study is just a way to make some easy cash, but for others it’s more than that. Work-study has helped many students develop professionally. Since a student can work in the field that they’re studying, they gain valuable work experience as well as connections within the field. Overall, work-study has helped Palo Alto College students financially and intellectually.

For many students, their last day of working work-study is May 18, 2013. For those working in the summer, their last day working is also May 18, but they will return when summer classes start.

For more information on work-study, please contact the office of Student Financial Services at (210) 486-3600 or visit them in the Palomino Center, Room 102, across from the Advising Center.