It is said that “Education is the great Equalizer” but if you cannot get your foot in the door, you cannot show what you know. Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School exists not only to provide an exceptional education for students who would otherwise not be able to attain a private school education but also to launch students into the corporate world through the innovative Corporate Work Study Program.
The Cristo Rey model was built on a framework of social justice designed to address the issues of education, access, and opportunity for students and their families with limited financial resources. Through the Corporate Work Study Program, corporations and their employees make a direct impact on the issues of race, equity, and justice.
Cristo Rey Inspires Change through the Corporate Work Study Program
The school in the heart of downtown Atlanta specifically recruits industrious, dedicated young people who work five full days a month at partner companies to fund much of the cost of their education. In 2019, 99% of the school’s 525 students were students of color.
Students come from hard working families but often have had no exposure to the corporate world. Understanding the culture of an office and participating in conversations about economics, strategy and analysis are not common concepts in their lives. Developing organizational skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a strong work ethic is critical for these young people to be able to compete for jobs as they enter the workforce.
Leveling the Playing Field
Corporate partners see this need and respond by providing job experiences to level the playing field for these students. Coworkers form a network of mentors who take an active interest in the success of the student workers. Impressive resumes are built before the students graduate from high school. Working in a corporate setting motivates students, inspires them to think big for their careers, and opens doors to the possibilities available to them.
Cristo Rey and the Atlanta business community are working to ensure that people of color see hope and opportunity in their future by educating the diverse work force of tomorrow. To learn how your company can inspire change in the future, contact David O’Shea, Director of Corporate Partnerships, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means, of any faith or creed, to become men and women for and with others. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate prepared for college and life.
About the Cristo Rey Network
The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students. Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education.