A student's day at OA begins in the workplace. Students either travel off campus to an externship, or to a credential-based course of study, or work in an on-campus student job (internship) to get work experience and begin building the social skills and work habits needed to gain employment. Our different work offerings are described below.
Note that off-campus externships have been suspended due to covid-19. Work experiences take place on campus with students' classroom groups.
Students at Covenant House work in the donations room, sorting donated clothing by size and type, and organizing the space for their residents.
Students travel to the Superdome and Smoothie King Center each day to do custodial tasks and perform back-of-house responsibilities in concessions areas. When the Pelicans played the Orlando Magic during the '19-20 season, our students worked a concession stand during the game!
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Students move furniture to place donated items on display in the ReStore, and practice basic furniture restoration. They also build communication and customer service skills as they assist visitors.
New Orleans Public Library
Students work at the Keller and Main branches of the library, keeping shelves tidy and ensuring that all workstations are properly equipped with the supplies visitors may need.
Some students at OA take a computer coding course through a partnership with Operation Spark, where students learn Java, CSS, and other coding platforms. They are able to earn a certificate that would gain them access to high-wage jobs in the tech industry.
Heard Dat Kitchen
Student works at Heard Dat Kitchen, a neighborhood restaurant, preparing for the lunch rush by doing back-of-house food prep and organizes their food storage areas.
National World War II Museum
Students work in document archives, scanning and tagging articles so they can be thoughtfully organized and preserved.
sOAptopia is Opportunities Academy's car wash business. On Monday - Thursday, staff can sign up for an interior and/or exterior cleaning service, and students work to execute the tasks on one of three checklists: Soap and Scrub, Rinse and Dry, and Interiors. They practice giving teammates feedback using quality control checklists, and on Fridays, practice communication and customer service by promoting their business to staff and encouraging them to sign up for a service.
The Clean Team provides custodial services for the Guste facility during the day. If you visit during internship time, you'll find them cleaning up the cafeteria after breakfast, washing windows, vacuuming the office, and keeping the school grounds looking polished. They are also stewards of OA's Go-Green Initiative, and make sure that compostable and recyclable materials are sorted from trash.
rOAst is OA's on-campus coffee shop and school store. The rOAst team prepares beverages and snacks for campus staff and visitors, and offer seasonal specials. They also run a student-facing school store, where students can purchase snacks, school supplies, and hygeine items. Student workers at rOAst learn how to create order tickets, use the Square interface, and deliver top-notch customer service.
Reception interns are responsible for sorting and delivering supply orders across campus, tracking inventory, helping with shredding and filing, and keeping a tidy working environment. They also do special projects requested by teachers, like laminating.
Supported Internships: Assembly, Food Service, and Custodial
In our supported internships, students work on building proficiency, independence, and task endurance. They perform simulated tasks as teachers and job coaches take data on their progress toward independence. In Supported Assembly, students do sorting, counting, and matching tasks, and also run a Button Company that creates buttons for schools in the network. In Supported Food Service, students practice safe hygiene habits and assemble condiment and utensil packets; and in Supported Custodial, students practice thoroughly doing custodial tasks from start to finish, and maintaining focus.