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students preparing for the real world at camp mickey d's

NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's

NEISD students are getting real world work experience at several McDonald's restaurants in San Antonio through Camp Mickey D's. Students spend a week learning from the restaurant manager and NEISD teachers.

This is the 17th year for the program that was started in San Antonio by Sybel Pici, a retired McDonald's restaurant owner, in collaboration with NEISD. Seven NEISD high schools have students participating at 11 different McDonald's camps in San Antonio.

Students spend five days working from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. They do team-building activities, make their own breakfast and lunch, and learn about sanitation, safety, security, customer service, and how to be a good employee and manager. They cover marketing strategies, quality control, and how leadership affects team work.

"We now know some of the difficulties of working in a place like this .. customers, employee mistakes," said Paulino Paredes, student at Reagan High School. "It's actually made us better customers, too."

NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's

Manager Allison Adams said this was a great group of students who were very creative using straws to add height to a building project, straw wrappers to secure the pieces, and communicating by nodding their heads during an exercise where they couldn't talk. Students even had homework: reading from the book Teenagers Preparing for the Real World by Chad Foster.

Students also earned pins throughout the week for winning games and activities. They were rewarded with the Early Bird pin for being the first person to arrive to camp, the Professionalism pin for dressing appropriate for their shift, and even the Awesome pin for just being awesome. Several students earned a special pin for coming to the rescue of a mother who spilled a jar of baby food. They jumped in to help clean up the mess and pick up all the glass.

"McDonald's staff teaches them the restaurant business, and we can bring our teacher stuff into this classroom," said Pam Scotts, Reagan teacher and Camp Mickey D's counselor. "They aren't just learning to work at McDonald's. They are learning basic skills to prepare them to work anywhere."

The student end the camp doing mock interviews with one of the managers on staff.

"I would make this mandatory. It gives you good experience," said Elijah Jackson, student at Reagan. "I wish it was longer."

NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's

Students learned to work the different stations of the restaurant, including the drive thru.

NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's

NEISD students at Camp Mickey D's

Students met with SAPD officers to discuss security at the work place.

NEISD at Camp Mickey D's

(l to r) Sybel Pici, Camp Co-Founder, Pam Scotts, teacher at Reagan High School, Debbie Ruelschaefer,NEISD Career & Technical program coordinator, Allison Adams, McDonald's manager, Leslie Wilson, teacher at Reagan High School

Posted on June 12, 2014