Grove Header- White.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Syr Program to Keep Kids in School and Get Jobs Gets Boost from Corporate Challenge Race

Chris Bolt/WAER News

  A Syracuse program to help kids in school and in their futures is getting a big helping hand this year.  The Chase Corporate Challenge this June will give proceeds to Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection.  

Hillside Executive Director Wayne O’Connor explains the middle and high school kids who keep up in the program can start to gain job skills .

“They all want jobs.  These are not lazy children, contrary to the stereotype of urban youth, just the opposite.  These are young people who want to work, often need to work and we have a triple “A” system.  If you have excellent attendance, attitude and achievement then we will get you a job.”

He says they partner with Wegman's, Rite Aid, Upstate, the zoo and elsewhere to get kids jobs.  It’s part of what O’ Connor describes as giving them a positive sense of future.  That can start with after school help and activities, right up to college prep.  Henninger High Senior Capri Miller got involved in seventh grade…and is now planning on learning to be a dental assistant.

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Hillside's Phoenix Center, the former Solace School, houses activities for students to work with youth advocates.

  “I just decided to do it, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.  They were on us about college and stuff, and our essays and applications and asking us what we wanted to do.”

Capri says her job has built more responsibility, and independence.  She credits the program for keeping her on track to graduate.  O’Connor says the Hillside program works with 960 students in five high schools and four middle schools.  He’s expecting great exposure from the Corporate Challenge award – ion addition to the financial help it will bring.  


Carla Hall, Co-Host of “The Chew” Television Show, Coming to Syracuse for Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection’s “Taste of Success Celebrity Chef Challenge”, May 1st from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the SRC Arena & Events Center at Onondaga Community College.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.