Live, Work, Learn program a big success for students – News

Atlantic City, New Jersey – Any doubts Natalie Giovinazzi, a senior at the University of Stockton, had about becoming a nurse was put to rest this summer thanks to the school’s Atlantic City Summer Experience – Live, Work, Learn program.

“I feel like I’m so prepared now,” said Giovanazzi, of Swedesboro, who worked primarily as a patient care associate at AtlantiCare. “I know what to expect and what is expected of me. It made me so much more comfortable going into my senior year.

Nathalie GiovinazziThe health sciences major was one of 130 students who spent the summer getting paid to work for an Atlantic City company, staying for free at the Stockton Atlantic City residential complex on the boardwalk, and getting four college credit through a free career preparation and leadership course. .

Of the 130 students, 83% were satisfied with the program experience and 65% said the work experience gave them an education they could not have learned in the classroom.

“I am extremely pleased with the success of the program,” Stockton Chairman Harvey Kesselman said. “I applaud the efforts of everyone involved this summer to make this a reality.”

The innovative program that began this year has not only provided local businesses with employees during the busiest time of year and students with learning opportunities in the city, but has also enabled 30 students to continue work in the fall.

“That’s absolutely what I had always envisioned for this program — that it would lead to guaranteed employment,” Kesselman said. “You can tell a potential student that if you’re involved in this program, you have a chance of ending up with a job at the end of it.”

Giovanazzi continued to be a “tech” at AtlantiCare this fall, working side-by-side with nurses and doctors. She has treated patients of all ages, from the elderly to even spent time in the newborn intensive care unit and assisted with a caesarean section.

Her most memorable experience came when she was able to spend a week with a newborn baby. She performed a hearing test and fed him every three hours while he was in solitary confinement.

I was always nervous about going into the nursing program because I had no idea what the vibe the city was in. Now, thanks to the program…I feel so, very prepared.

Natalie Giovinazzi, senior

“It was really special for me to have to be with this baby all week,” she said. “To be able to see him regain his strength and to be able to see him go home to his family.”

She said her work at the NICU cemented her future career plans, which include applying for Stockton’s accelerated nursing program.

“I was always nervous about going into the nursing program because I had no idea what that atmosphere was like,” she said. “Now, thanks to the program, I know what nurses expect from technicians. I feel so, very prepared for the nursing program.

students have completed the program

In addition to Stockton students and staff being happy with the summer experience, all 10 business partners felt the experience was worthwhile for their business and the students.

“We were giving these students the opportunity to learn a skill, whether it’s running a gaming table or opening a restaurant,” said Michael Monty, general manager of Bally’s Atlantic City. “But it wasn’t just benevolent. These were important positions for our team this summer. »

Monty said there was no doubt that his casino would participate again next year and that the program was helping to potentially develop new employees.

“Once you get your foot in the door, the sky’s the limit,” he said. “If there is someone who is a hustler, driven and not where they want to spend their time next summer, we have a lot of different opportunities here for them. We can expose them to many many different industries by the time they graduate.”

Gregory Copeland is enjoying the extra source of income this fall after the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa offered him a part-time job after his summer job as a food courier. The Atlantic City junior works the pool and casino nightclub on the weekends. He said the program helped him manage his time to balance work, school and social life.

“I got to experience casino life and it can be hectic at times, but it was good. I enjoyed it,” said the sociology and anthropology major who is also on the team. Stockton Athletics “I liked how (the program) put me in other people’s shoes, to see what they see and do (with their work).”

And while the Live, Work, Learn program had a large number of participants like Copeland from Atlantic County (24), 82% of the students live in other New Jersey counties, including 15 from Camden County, 14 from Essex County and nine from Gloucester County.

“Part of our mission to be an anchor institution is to engage in activities like this that support the economic well-being of the City of Atlantic City,” Kesselman said. “But it can also really help us recruit students from across the state and beyond.”

Stockton Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Leamor Kahanov said she hopes to expand the program next year and include additional partners.

“I am delighted that so many students participated in the first year of the program and were able to gain real-world experience that would not only help them complete their studies at Stockton, but also pave the way for a future career,” said she declared.

Partners employed included: AtlantiCare; Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino; Hotel Borgata, Casino & Spa; Caesars Entertainment (Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City); The Claridge Hotel; fantaSea Resorts; Hard Rock Hotel & Casino; Ocean Casino Resort; Hotel Casino Resorts; and Steel Pier.

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