The word means so much for parents of students who attend Verbum Dei High School, a Jesuit college preparatory school for young men in the Watts area.

Edwin Reyes, 17, a senior at Verbum Dei and one of 10 student interns at Edison International, did not know what to expect when he arrived at the blue gates of the school during his freshman year. 

“My mom heard about the school, and its 100 percent graduation rate, and next thing you know, I was enrolled,” he said. “It gave my parents hope. Hope for a better future.” 

“Working at Edison has taught me how to behave professionally and how to present in front of people,” added Reyes. “I used to get nervous, but now I feel I have a voice.”

Verbum Dei High School serves young men living in South Los Angeles who are economically and academically underserved. One of the school’s main attractions is its corporate internship program.

Since 2006, Edison International has been part of the school’s Corporate Work Study Program, which provides mentorship and develops students’ skill sets. From presentation to leadership skills, employees teach students what it means to work in the corporate environment.

Ryan Delgadillo, 18, is a senior at the school and an intern at Edison. His experience in the school’s work study program has taught him the power of community. 

“It has taught me that people I don’t know care about me and I’m grateful for that,” he said. “I’ve learned the value of gratitude and to always be thankful for everything I have.” 

Reyes and Delgadillo were planning to attend college in the fall. Reyes was applying to the University of Southern California to study computer engineering and Delgadillo was looking at Loyola Marymount to study humanitarian law

The two seniors shared words of encouragement for their younger classmates.

For more stories, visit Edison's Online Newsroom.

To learn more about Edison's philanthropic programs, read Power in Partnerships: Community Investment Report 2014.