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Proviso West Students Take a Closer Look at Corporate America

Proviso West High School students are taking a closer look at high powered positions in corporate America through their business and food nutrition courses. So far this year, the students of Proviso West have visited the Chicago Board of Trade, Lustre Inc., AT&T, NBC Chicago, and the Federal Reserve.

This month, the students took a trip to McDonald’s Corporate Headquarters to take a behind the scenes look with Proviso West Alum and Vice President of McDonald's Global Restaurants Measurements Division, Jerry Calabrese.

Calabrese, who graduated from Proviso West in 1969, said it’s important to give back to the students of Proviso.

“The key reason why we do things like this is because the students we teach are our future,” said Calabrese. “So, if we can do something to help them prepare for the next stage of their lives, it makes our communities better—it makes the world better. It’s all about the kids.”

McDonald’s sponsored the trip, which was attended by over a dozen Proviso West students. The program focused on training for the future. It also encouraged students to be prepared for interviews and to keep a positive attitude. The goal was to recognize students for their achievements, educate them regarding McDonald's Corporate Values, and to prepare them for the global marketplace.

“It was a life changing experience that I will never forget,” said Proviso West Junior Chakese Williams. “That field trip opened my eyes to the job possibilities for me in the future. I plan on attending college to become an accountant, most of the adults [at the corporation] went to school for the same profession.”

Students heard stories from Calabrese and Linda Jalove who is a two time recipient of the coveted President's award from McDonalds’s Corp. Julissa Pratt, McDonald’s VP of Human Resources, spoke about "breaking into the business world" and gave the students four key success starters. Some students also learned how they can apply for world class training and college credit through the American Council on Education.

“I gained a lot from the experience,” said Proviso West Sophomore Amber Richardson. “I learned that you can start from anywhere and work your way up—even own your own McDonald’s. I also learned that people who’ve come from humble backgrounds can become wealthy.”

“I loved every aspect of the trip,” said Williams. “I will never look at McDonald’s the same again. They have given me the key to success. I have big dreams for my future. They may very well come true.”

The students received $25 gift certificates for McDonald’s, and had an opportunity to meet with McDonald’s chefs. They were also given the book The Power of Attitude by Mac Anderson.

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