Co-written with Elizabeth Cooley
Andrean High School is a college preparatory school that equips its students with a faith-based education as well as knowledge in leadership and service. However, the lessons and opportunities do not end there. Red Crew is a work-study program that teaches students that hard work really pays off. While paying for Andrean may seem daunting to some people, the school offers alternatives such as Red Crew to make tuition more affordable.
“Red Crew is a club which requires thirty minutes of maintenance contribution per day in exchange for money off your tuition,” says first-year member Jacob Sherman (12). Some of the tasks that the students are responsible for include changing trash cans, watering plants, setting up new computers, and working outside. This work enhances a student’s ability to perform tasks that are important in maintaining a household later on in life, not to mention that Red Crew looks amazing on a resume. This job experience also prepares students for jobs in the real world that will help them pay for college tuition. Sherman agrees that these responsibilities provide him with “good job experience and maintenance skills that [he] can use in the future.”
The benefits of Red Crew go beyond just earning tuition and experience. The group is comprised of students from all grades that work alongside the maintenance crew of Andrean. “My favorite part of Red Crew is interacting with the maintenance guys and other underclassmen that I don’t see on a regular basis,” Sherman said. By bringing together students of all ages, many friendships have developed that otherwise may have never occurred. This also creates a better relationship between the student body and the maintenance crew while teaching the students to truly appreciate the plethora of tasks that the maintenance department takes care of.
Through Red Crew, students also take part of the sacrifices their parents make to send them to Andrean. Kevin McCune (12), a fourth-year member of Red Crew, recognizes the financial aspect that many parents are left to deal with. “[The best part of Red Crew is] that it helps my parents get the tuition down, making it easier to pay for school,” McCune said. Red Crew helps teach students financial responsibility at a high school age. This knowledge allows students to recognize the financial sacrifices their parents make to send the students to Andrean.
Red Crew has three main leaders: Molly Perez, Chris Skinner, and Mike Bauswell. Perez began to oversee the program this year because she is one of the main staff members that is responsible for the upkeep of Andrean’s facility. Her role in Red Crew mainly consists of making sure that the students complete their daily tasks and seeing that they are handling their job responsibly while being truly committed to Andrean.
“I think my favorite part of being a leader is knowing that the students are helping themselves at the same time they are helping the school,” Perez said. “This is just like a job anywhere. You take pride in helping out the company or organization, and at the same time you are helping yourself.” By helping both themselves and the school, members of Red Crew truly do make a difference at Andrean every single day.
There are a couple of different ways that a student can find information to apply for Red Crew. Gia Pawlak (11), who is participating in Red Crew for her third year, first found out about it online. “There’s a lot of scholarships on Andrean’s website,” Pawlak said. She would recommend that students apply mainly because it is a good way to prepare for the outside world while meeting new people.
While Pawlak discovered Red Crew through the Internet, McCune heard about it from Andrean’s principal as a freshman and applied through the office. “You need to talk to the main office, and you may have to write a paper to get your spot,” McCune said. These students and other participants in the program agree that one essay is worth the many life lessons and financial benefits attained by being a member of Red Crew.