Janet Brown has worked with interns from Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School for eight years in her job as finance account coordinator at Catholic Charities. For her exceptional support of interns, she recently was honored with the corporate supervisor of the year award from the high school.
The award is given to the student supervisor who exemplifies outstanding dedication to students, creativity with assignments and an overall willingness to see students succeed. Recipients are chosen by the high school’s corporate work study program team.
The award was presented to Brown at an event held by Don Bosco Cristo Rey that included video messages from her previous interns.
The award also recognizes a supervisor’s impact on the work study program over time.
“Janet is not only someone who cares about the current students but continues to follow them after they graduate,” said Enrique Guzman, relationship manager at Don Bosco Cristo Rey. “Many of her students end up staying and working for Catholic Charities after they graduate. She fosters a relationship with them and continues to mentor them after they finish their time with her.”
Mentoring young adults and preparing them for the professional workplace requires empathy and leadership. “Young people want to be heard and seen,” Brown says. “They want a safe place to express their opinions.”
Don Bosco Cristo Rey interns work on various projects and gain invaluable workplace experience. This past school year, a half dozen interns worked in different departments at Catholic Charities, including medical services, development, finance and immigrant support services. Exposure to the working world at a young age can be intimidating, and Brown understands what is necessary to support her interns and encourage their growth.
Thania Gomez was an intern under Brown’s supervision. Gomez worked as an intern for Catholic Charities throughout high school, including for three years in the finance department and a remote year during the pandemic at the Spanish Catholic Center in Columbia Heights.
“My biggest takeaway from this internship is the relationship I have with my supervisor,” Gomez says. “She would check in with me for work and ask me about school.”
Gomez will attend The Catholic University of America in the fall on a full scholarship.
Brown’s “kindness and understanding helped me grow into the person I am today,” Gomez says. “Without her pushing me and encouraging me, I wouldn’t have had the success I had in my high school career.”
When asked how working with students has impacted her, Brown says, “The students help keep me young, and working with them enriches my life. It is one of my favorite parts of my job. I enjoy just watching the students grow from year to year, and I like seeing them mature and find out who they are becoming.”