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Community Commitment | Arrupe Jesuit

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EKS&H has supported Arrupe Jesuit High School for many years, as a participant in the school’s work-study program and through the donations and volunteer efforts of staff members. Additionally EKS&H provides auditing and tax services for the school.

Arrupe prepares students to become the first in their families to attend college and, in some cases, even graduate high school. Helping them learn the skills needed to make these transitions include a work-study program, which enables them to work for a local company one full day per week. At EKS&H, students work in marketing, administration, technology, and accounting.

EKS&H Founding Partner Bill Keefe, who personally donates to Arrupe, explains the benefits, “The students get to learn how to act in an adult work environment, and how to dress professionally, as well as the skills associated with their specific jobs. The program supports kids in believing they can go to college, and pursue professional careers.” Keefe initially got involved with Arrupe through supporting a related organization, Seeds of Hope, which provides scholarships for underserved children in inner city Catholic schools.

Keefe says it’s exciting to see how students benefit from the work-study program. One former student is now in college, and works for EKS&H as a regular, part-time employee. Another, also currently in college, is working to become a CPA, in part because of her experience at the firm. A third student made the decision to go out of state for college based on encouragement from her former colleagues at EKS&H; because of cultural influences, the decision was an unusual one for an Arrupe graduate, but it enabled her to gain broader experience and attend a better school. Keefe notes that some former student workers also maintain relationships with EKS&H employees after they graduate.

EKS&H Marketing Manager Katie Obarski is one of those who has kept in touch with former Arrupe students, but her commitment to the school extends much further. In 2011, she helped start Young Arrupe Philanthropists, which supports succession for the current board of directors, and enables the school to more effectively seek support from younger audiences. Obarski served in the roles of president and vice president for two years each, and remains a member of the group, participating in fundraisers, supply drives, school cleanups, and other opportunities to support the school.

Obarski has also worked closely with Arrupe students who have held jobs in the EKS&H marketing department. She comments, “We’re not shy about the level of work we give to the students. We offer them challenging projects, which means they end up with a wide variety of skills and impressive resumes. And, we’ve seen how the program pays off, as reflected in the fact that 100% of EKS&H Arrupe graduating seniors are accepted into college.”

Arrupe welcomes new hiring organizations; visit the school’s Become a Corporate Work Study Program Partner page to learn how to get involved. Or, visit the Arrupe Jesuit High School website to read more about the school overall.