Working part-time over summer helps with fall opening

HUNTERSVILLE – Many students wait anxiously for the end of the year to get away from school and begin their summer vacation.

Six students from SouthLake Christian Academy chose to do just the opposite. 

“Instead of going to the beach or goofing off with friends, they decided to work on the school,” said Chris Hunt, spokesman for SLCA.  

Several of the students are at the school five days a week all summer working on facility maintenance and renovation projects to earn pay and community service hours. They work 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

Mickey Eldridge, head of facilities at SLCA, said the students are cleaning tables, putting furniture together, moving the furniture, painting, cleaning, taking down chalkboards, setting up computers for teachers and updating software programs.

The students are taught different skills along the way. For example, the students might learn how to use a screwdriver or how to build a particular item. They are trained every time a new project arises.

As opposed to working at a restaurant or other local businesses, the students chose to work at SLCA because they feel familiar with the school.

“They are here in a safe environment they know,” Eldridge said. “It’s a good experience.”

Eldridge has been a part of SLCA for 10 years now. He said over the years students have approached him about working over the summer.

“This gives them an opportunity to see what is done in the summer to go to school,” Eldridge said. “It gives them a respect in how to treat the school as they go through the year.”

Eldridge hopes the volunteer work that went into improving SLCA will influence other students to take care of school property and take more pride in what their school has to offer.

Graduate Woody Woodruff has volunteered at SLCA every summer since he started high school. Once he has completed working at the school this summer, he will be on his way to attend UNC Charlotte.

Woodruff has installed new equipment and cleaned up trash to prepare other students for the next school year. 

Before he started working at SLCA, Woodruff felt he wanted to be productive and do more with his time.

Woodruff said it's nice to have extra spending money and gain new experiences.  

“I learned a lot of skills, a lot about working with tools and different situations of what needs to be done. I learned valuable trade skills,” Woodruff said. “A lot of it will help with living on my own."

A student approached Woodruff in shock at the scope of what the volunteers do over the summer, an expression Woodruff said showed appreciation for making the school a better place.

“It does make a pretty large impact. A lot of stuff gets done,” Woodruff said.