A year with our Cristo Rey CWSP Intern

Ash Ramirez-Bazzoti — May 10, 2024

Cristo Rey is a private Jesuit high school. It is part of a network of dozens of other Cristo Rey schools nationwide. CRSJ was established in 2014, and its first graduating class was in 2018. The graduating class of 2024 will be the 7th. As of the 2023-2024 school year, 414 students are enrolled. Over 90% of students will be the first in their families to attend college. As a part of the education system, CRSJ requires a work-study program to be completed. Here, students over 14 are assigned to a work-study placement. This, in return, provides work experience for tuition payment. Families can pay as little as $0.

My name is Ash Ramirez-Bazzoti, and I am a 15-year-old sophomore at CRSJ. This is my second year at CRSJ and the CWSP program. I chose CRSJ because it would help me obtain more knowledge and experience that I wouldn’t be able to receive at a typical high school. I was placed at San Jose Strong (SJS) in my first year. There, I orchestrated a community event that promoted cultural diversity in the arts. Now, as a Sophomore, I am interning at Environmental Volunteers (EV). As a student worker, I strive for new opportunities and challenges. So, I will continue to grow academically, professionally, and personally. 

In my personal life, I enjoy music, acting, art, and activism. I play flute, guitar, violin, and cello. I have been in two plays and musicals: Ms. Marvel, The Split, Bye-Bye Birdie, and Hamilton. Performing Arts is my favorite school subject. My short-term goal is to graduate from high school and be accepted into a 4-year university.

Environmental Volunteers is a non-profit organization founded in 1975 by women who wanted to provide insight into environmental education for children. 

Here at Environmental Volunteers, I have met great people, Christine, Francine, and Rick. Christine Zack is my primary supervisor, Francine Davis is my secondary supervisor, and Rick was my mentor. I work in the education and volunteer departments. 

At EV, I do a variety of things, such as inventory management, website design, social media marketing, education visuals, and volunteer nurturing projects. The education and volunteer departments directly contribute to the company because we help with projects for classroom and community programs. These aid the children we serve in their environmental education journey.

At EV, I have learned how to use Canva better and improved my social skills. The best advice I have received at EV has been to try my best. Although it may be cliché, it is the most important thing that has helped me do my best. For future EV interns, I advise you to listen, try your best, show respect, and have an open mind.

From my first day up to now, I have changed a lot. When I first started at EV, I was very nervous. This was my first time working in person. I did not know what to expect. However, I quickly adapted to the new work environment. Now, I have seen myself change because I have become more comfortable and have also changed personally and professionally. I have improved my social, Spanish, and organizational skills. Professionally, I have improved my technical skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity. 

I am very thankful for all of my co-workers. They have made this experience not only insightful but also fun. I appreciate the efforts to make me feel part of the team and include me in activities. I also enjoyed working with them as they have made this experience fun. I want to thank Christine for keeping me on top of my work and checking in on me. A thank you to Francine for making jokes and making the environment fun. And to Rick. Although he isn’t here anymore, I would like to thank him for making me feel included and respected by everyone. Thank you for the wonderful year.