PUEBLO — When a crew that was supposed to lay new sod at the Chavez Huerta Preparatory Academy's rundown softball field, the school began scrambling to find workers.
The staff got creative and decided to hire their own students.
“I worked with our HR department to go through the rules, there are a lot of rules with kids working... And we worked it out. We worked out our program and the kids started," said Jack Bay, the Chief Business Officer at CHPA.
The high school students earned $15.00 an hour to come out to the field and lay sod, paint the dugouts, pour cement, and more.
"I told them they're going to meet manual... Which is manual labor... It's hard work!" says Bay.
A total of almost 40 kids came out, Bay says 22 participated consistently throughout the summer.
KIDS PULL TOGETHER TO HELP REBUILD SOFTBALL FIELD: When crews to lay sod had to quarantine this summer, Chavez Huerta Prep Academy got creative and paid their willing students to do the job instead! Coming up at 4:30 & 5, hear what life lessons they learned along the way! @KOAA pic.twitter.com/4CUl9ysNOU— Natalie Chuck KOAA (@NatalieChuck) July 28, 2021
One rising senior, Sunny Lee Garcia, is actually on the softball team.
“To see what it is now and knowing that I was able to be out there helping get it to what it is now… It’s something that we’re able to take pride in for our school," she said, excited to play on the improved field for her first game during the second week in August.
Garcia says she had to learn to "adapt" when her work ethic was higher than other students on her team.
The summer work program turned out to be so successful, according to Bay, that the school intends on implementing the idea again next year. Because the students are paid, the school wants to partner with a bank to help teach the students how to handle their finances.
“They’ve learned that - Hey now, I got the money but I gotta pay for something.. So now it’s a little bit more valuable to them.“
Any questions please contact Jack W. Bay, Chief Business Officer 719 289-8309.