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Helping teens find a career

CVS donates as thank-you for outreach program

Posted: March 3, 2009 11:56 p.m.
Updated: March 4, 2009 4:30 a.m.

CVS manager Eric Harrison thanks two representatives from Saugus High School for helping with the Career Vision's program. Harrison has worked with Saugus High School for the last 13 years doing community outreach like the career transition program. This year CVS gave 150 gift bags to show it appreciation for community support.

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On Monday, Feb. 23, Saugus High was fortunate to receive 180 gift bags from CVS Pharmacy to recognize everything the teaching staff has done for Saugus' students.

Eric Harrison, store manager of the CVS store on Bouquet Canyon and Newhall Ranch Road, has been working on this project since August of the current school year.

He has been involved with Saugus High School for 13 years and continues to play a role in Career Vision's workforce preparation class taught by Kevin Miner and career transition advisor Louise Willard. Saugus High students and students involved through the workforce class are employed through CVS to learn the skills needed to work in the "real world." The bags of the generous donations and the items from the CVS store were put together by the students from Saugus' workforce preparation class.

"There was easily over 1,500 hours spent on this project," Willard said.

The students are paid by the school, but CVS plans on hiring a few of the students after they finish the class. Over 300 students from Saugus High have been involved in this program and worked anywhere from 50 to 200 hours within the program.

"Ms. Willard and I created a partnership; it's all about the students," Harrison said.

Harrison said he "adopted" Saugus High School and loved to help out with the school as much as he can.

"I did this to help the students see the community's involvement," Harrison said.

In the future, he plans to help the school again.

"My store is very strong and not affected by the [failing] economy." The strength of his business allows Harrison to hire students on with steady jobs and to help out around the community.

Among the 180 bags received were items which included: deodorant, playing cards, candy, Fiji water, tape, Red Bull, pens, Band-Aids, cough drops, mouthwash, etc. Coca-Cola Company also donated cartons of Vitamin Water to add to the bags and 7-Up/ R.C. Bottling Company donated cartons of Snapple Antioxidant Water.

When presented with the donations, Principal Bill Bolde said, "We are always grateful for the partnerships that exist between business and Saugus High."

Thanks to CVS, Willard's generous donations and the donations from other companies, the teachers have more supplies to better teach the students. Through this experience, Harrison hopes students are able to see that the community not only appreciates, but supports education. "Stay in school, get educated, choose a career, have a goal ... a direction in life," Harrison said.

Elizabeth Kerr is a Saugus High School senior.

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