By Lillian Bowe
Baron Barber, an Eastern New Mexico University senior, needed a job but work study was the only option.
Barber is on the ENMU cross country team which makes it difficult to find a flexible job that will work with his busy schedule.
Barber found a poster at the Greyhound Arena for the Portales Recreation Center which offered work study in the evening. He joined the recreation center in February and loves that he can do both cross country and have a job.
“I do most of my cross country in the morning and I only work here in the afternoon, so it’s perfect,” Barber said.
Barber is part of the work study program the center offers to ENMU students for the fall, spring and summer semesters.
The recreation center has been offering work study positions to students for a few years according recreation center employee Emily Vickers.
Barber, a criminal justice major from Florida, is taking three credits this summer and said he loves his job at the center and wants to continue to work there.
“I get so attached to the kids, I even have some favorites,” Barber said.
Students must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and see if their financial aid status qualifies them for work study.
Jodi Kibbe, director of the recreation center, said many ENMU students work at the center, whether it be through the work study program or other channels.
“We work a lot with ENMU students. Some come and help tutor during the school season,” Kibbe said.
Joshua Mendoza, ENMU sophomore from Clovis, joined the rec center after Kibbe gave a presentation about work study in his freshman seminar class.
“I have already coached many youth sports when I was in Clovis so this was the perfect fit,” Mendoza said.
It also works well for him as his major is physical education and before he came to the recreation center, he coached many sports, except basketball.
“One day, they came up to me and said you are coaching basketball. I said OK and now I love coaching it and playing it,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza worked at the beginning of the fall semester and is working in the summer.
The two newest employees are also from ENMU, but are not under the work study program. Amy Pruit and Rebeka Henson both started on Monday working at the center for the summer program.
Pruit and Henson are both elementary education majors and get plenty of experience working with children.
“I have really liked it so far and we do a lot of fun activities with the kids,” Henson said.