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Berea College students share the benefits of the labor program

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Posted at 6:26 PM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 09:16:47-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — Every student at Berea College has a job, and it's a part of the school's labor program that allows students to explore new jobs and fields without paying tuition.

Stevenson Michel is a freshman at Berea College. In addition to his math and computer science major, he's working in the college's marketing and communications department. He's working on his latest project.

Michel says, "I'm just finishing up a video for the November appeal which is an event the college organizes to raise funds."

Students work anywhere from 10 to 20 hours a week in addition to their studies, and students like Michel say it allows them to learn something new and be creative.

"On top of the academic activities a student may be involved to it helps you to get a taste of the labor market," he added.

Sociology major and junior Xavier Khera also works in marketing and communications. It's his first time really using a professional camera.

Khera says, "You learn a lot. It's really like the whole comprehensive learning experience in the field, as opposed to, just in the classroom."

No matter what job they have here on campus, it teaches a lot of responsibility, and creativity, and gives a great experience for future jobs.

Dean of Labor at Berea College, Collis Robinson, says, "The labor program really provides that exploration, and it's really low stakes. It's a safe environment."

Berea is one of ten work colleges and one of two where students get their own paycheck.

Berea College already subsidizes student tuition, and with talks of student loans in the headlines students are happy to have a job that can also help them make ends meet. Michel moved to the US from Haiti and says he knew he wanted to attend this school for financial freedom and opportunities.

"I imagine someone for example graduating from college and having $40,000 as debt. It's like the next ten years of your life. You will have stress based on financial, your financial status. But right now, imagine that I am learning and that unlike many classes you get the opportunity to choose your classes and choose your major -- you don't feel this pressure."