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Oklahoma Department of Commerce

A New Program with Cristo Rey High School Brings Enthusiastic Student Employees to Commerce and Tourism



Both the Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department have been participating in Cristo Rey High School’s Corporate Work Study Program in the 2018-19 school year.

Cristo Rey Oklahoma City High School is a learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of purpose and service. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work-study experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life. The school opened its doors to the first class of 9th graders this fall. Each year thereafter, the school will add another freshman class of 125 students. By 2022, the school will serve grades nine through 12.

Commerce and Tourism have had four students assigned to both agencies working within all divisions since the beginning of the school year.

The Commerce Marketing division has been working with two students, Kelcy G. and Da’Chiana B., and we have asked them to share their stories about their work experience with the Departments so far.

Cristo Rey Young professionals at Commerce –  
By Kelcy G.

Cristo Rey Catholic High school and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce are giving me a great opportunity in my education and helping to prepare me for the workforce.

My time at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce has been a great experience. Working at Commerce at the age of 14 is a big opportunity. Most students don’t have the same opportunity as I do. I will have more work experience, be more independent, and become a young professional.

I want to become a pediatrician and open up a bakery. By working at the Department of Commerce, I am gaining great skills to help me be more successful and prepared. The first day I was so nervous but excited because it was going to be my first job and also because I didn’t know anyone. I remember not being able to eat breakfast because of the excitement and nervousness. Everyone was very welcoming and nice.

I have worked in four departments. The departments I’ve worked in are Finance, Business Development, Marketing and Travel Operations. In Finance, I put information from contracts, expenditures, claims, closeouts, and audits into HP (a computer program). In Business Services, I scanned contracts and Woman and Minority Business certifications. In Travel Operations, I scanned, took apart and put together files, and made copies of files. In Marketing, I outlined news articles and inventoried brochures.

I was very excited to learn about every department and what their jobs were. Of the departments I’ve worked with, my favorite department was Finance. Putting information into HP was my favorite thing to do. Filing papers was one favored task too. By the second week I had a lot of names and numbers memorized, so it didn’t take as long to file. In Finance I learned two simple but important lessons: get everything organized before proceeding in a task and don’t procrastinate because things will build up. If I don’t become a pediatrician I would want to work in Finance for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

I am thankful for having an opportunity like this. I will be more successful in life due to my experience here. Working at the Department of Commerce will help me very much now and in the future.

Cristo Rey Young professionals at Commerce –  
By Da’Chiana B.

My name is Da’Chiana, and I’m from Oklahoma City. I am also a student at Cristo Rey Catholic High School. I heard about Cristo Rey in 8th grade when I was going to Kipp Reach Middle School. Mr. Yocom, my current principal, came to Kipp to talk to the 8th grade students about coming to Cristo Rey. We learned that they were the 33rd Cristo Rey in the United States and the first Cristo Rey in Oklahoma City. What got my attention was a program called CWSP (Corporate Work Study Program), meaning that we get to work for our private high school education tuition. When 8th grade ended, I went straight to Cristo Rey where I am a founding student.

We spent weeks in training on what to do in the workforce, and I started to feel very comfortable. When it was time to find out where we would be working, I was very nervous at first, and hopeful of getting the job I wanted. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my first choice, but I was willing to give the job I was assigned to at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce a chance. My first day at Commerce was fun. Everyone there was happy and so nice to me. I felt very welcomed. I was assigned to many different tasks I didn’t know how to do but learned quickly. It’s funny because my partners would say, “if you get bored, tell me and I will give you something else to work on”, but I found the work very interesting and fun. I’ve never been bored at the Department of Commerce. They keep me laughing every day. Not many people at other schools have an opportunity to do this, or work at this type of place, so it has been an honor to work with the Department and Commerce.

I’ve learned a lot working here. I learned how to use the copy machine, how to make files on it, and scan papers into files. I’ve not only learned about the organization of the Department of Commerce, but also so much about each worker and what they do. They give me things to work on and they also try to get to know me. My experience at the Department of Commerce has been one of the best moments of my life, and I thank them for everything. They have inspired me to become a Commerce worker, too.


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