The NATO summit, which for the past three days has replaced cars on the Chicago’s expressways and streets with law enforcement personnel, also kept some high school students from earning their mandatory weekly day’s pay.
Ranging in age from 15 to 19, the students participate in Christ the King Jesuit College Prep’s Corporate Work Study Program. The program requires CTK students to earn 75 percent of their tuition by working one day a week at one of the program’s 80 corporate sponsors.
Christ the King officials opted to suspend the downtown work assignments of students to alleviate any parental concerns, said André Darey, a coordinator for the work study program. “We wanted to ensure the safety of our students,” he said.
Approximately 20 students were affected by the suspension, but it was business as usual for students who work at sites outside of the Loop. Students whose work assignments were closed during the summit won’t have to make up the lost day. Those whose downtown work sites remained open will have to make up the lost earnings, approximately $170 per student.
Shuttle buses take the students from the high school, located at 5088 W. Jackson, to designated drop points. From there, the students walk to their assignments in groups of two to eight. Anticipated demonstrations by NATO protestors and beefed up police presence on the streets prompted the decision to suspend.
“We are responsible for the students from the time they leave here until they return,” Darey said. “We wanted to be sure that they’re safe.”