Drafting Atlanta’s Future Leaders, Helping Build Their Path to Success

The summer is over, and the kids are back in school. While summer doesn’t change much here at Hodges-Mace, its conclusion does seem to bring a routine back into our schedule. August is typically a time to fall back into place around the office. However, at Hodges-Mace we know that it won’t be too long until our newest challenge and enjoyment will once again begin.

What makes August so exciting at Hodges-Mace? Well, it’s the time of year where we will have another opportunity to bring life to one of our company values:

“Our people and our communities matter. We are conscientious and caring about our work, our communities and one another.”

At Hodges-Mace we pride ourselves on giving back to our community year-round. With two freebie community service days and our Summer of Service initiative, we encourage employees to take the time to volunteer at local charities. In this year’s Summer of Service, we volunteered over 600 hours at 12 different charities in the Atlanta area. By coming together and doing great things, our comradery and morale are increased between colleagues, and our appreciation and humility grows within ourselves. So, in saying this, while hourly and daily charitable work does make a difference, Hodges-Mace has found that our true passion and responsibility lies within bringing up the next generation to strive to do great things. We want to be a part of formulating our future leaders, dreamers and hopefuls to know and believe that they can be on the path to success.

Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program

This brings us back to August and its importance. August brings us Draft Day at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. So, what does a high school and a draft party have to do with one another? Well, let’s take a step back and share with you what Cristo Rey is all about. Their President best explains it as: “First, Cristo Rey Atlanta is preparing students for college success by providing a rigorous college preparatory curriculum fused with authentic experiences in the corporate world. Second, the school’s presence advocates for education reform, proving that at-risk students are capable of academic and professional success when offered quality, affordable education. And Third, Cristo Rey Atlanta students are transforming their local communities by breaking the cycle of poverty and violence too often associated with urban settings.”

So really, not only does August bring us Draft Day, but it also introduces us to four eager to learn high school students who will work at Hodges-Mace throughout the next school year. During this time, we will pour into these students and teach them life and professional lessons to mold them in their future.

Hodges-Mace team meets the students on Draft Day.

As a partner of the school’s unique Corporate Work Study Program, four students will work five full days a month at Hodges-Mace to fund the majority of their education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of their education. This experience touches the lives of the students, their families, and our very own team members. This is our second year of participating in this program and we couldn’t sign up fast enough for this next wave of students. They are exceptional children who are now headed to college, participating in summer leadership programs at schools like Emory University, showing their younger siblings what hard work will lead to and serving as role models in their community. By partnering with Cristo Rey Jesuit High School we’re hopeful to make a difference in these students lives all year long.

This past Friday was the infamous Draft Day. Students from the school were there to watch as those participating got matched with their companies. Cheers, confetti and occasional air horns were all present. Hodges-Mace was proud to be there in attendance of the draft party, along with Atlanta companies like Home Depot, UPS, Coca-Cola, Turner Broadcasting, Georgia Pacific and many others. However, Hodges-Mace was even more proud to be there to finally meet the four students we would win as this year’s team. I have to say, we really did come out on top. When it was our turn, we were overjoyed to greet our students – one from each grade level. While they were just as nervous and excited as we were, the celebratory lunch provided time to ease the nerves and get to know each other a little better. We are excited for them to join us in the office and build on these relationships over the next school year.

We are proud to support Cristo Rey Atlanta and more importantly eager to work with this next class of students!! Interest in learning more about the Corporate Work Study Program? Cristo Rey provides more details here along with a message from their Vice President. We encourage more Atlanta companies to become more involved in our city’s next generation!

Celebratory lunch after Draft Day with our newest students.

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