Over 120 of Atlanta’s most respected companies will “draft” teams of four high school students into their employment ranks during Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School’s 10th Annual Draft Day. Representatives from The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Bank of America, EY, Inspire Brands, Havertys, Emory Healthcare, Southern Company, and many other top Atlanta businesses are marking their tenth year of partnering with the Downtown Atlanta high school to provide students with an entry-level job during the coming school year through the school’s innovative Corporate Work Study Program.
Cristo Rey Atlanta is a private high school that offers a rigorous, college-prep education to low-income students. The school does not charge traditional tuition, instead students work one day a week at partner companies to earn 60% of the cost of their own education.
Hosted by Draft Commissioners, Russ Spencer and Christine Sperow of Fox 5 Atlanta, the 10th Annual Draft Day will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 18th at Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. Just like a pro sports team draft, partner companies will bring entertainment, swag, visual effects, and lots of excitement to welcome students to their teams as the students find out where they will be working.
“The energy that the corporate partners bring to Draft Day is amazing and shows how much they want our students to be part of their companies,” says Cristo Rey Atlanta President Camille Naughton. “It is so exciting that we have reached this 10-year milestone of partnering with companies that provide our students access to a high-quality education. Those companies that have been with us for 10 years have proven their commitment to educational equity which will lead to workplace equity, and ultimately income equity.”
The Cristo Rey model is designed to address the issues of education, access, and opportunity for students with limited financial resources. Through the Corporate Work Study Program, partners like Bank of America provide jobs for the students to help prepare them to be competitive in the future job market. Working in a corporate setting motivates students, inspires them to think big, and opens doors to the possibilities available to them.
“Bank of America is committed to investments that build workforce skills to prepare young adults for long-term success,” said Al McRae, president, Bank of America Atlanta. “We’re honored to be a partner with Cristo Rey for 10 years as they empower young people in their Corporate Work Study program.”
In addition to earning a significant portion of the cost of their own education, the Corporate Work Study program gives students the unique opportunity to explore careers in a different industry each year they are in high school. By the time they graduate, students will have work experience at four different companies to list on their college applications, setting them apart from their peers.
Since its first graduating class in 2018, 100% of all students who have graduated from Cristo Rey Atlanta have been accepted to college. Graduates have collectively earned over $102,000,000 in merit scholarships not including the Hope Scholarship and are graduating from college at rates that well exceed the six-year graduation rate of low-income college students.
“Partnering with Cristo Rey means that you care about the future,” says Naughton. “The companies that have been with us for 10 years, like Bank of America, have been and will continue to impact the lives of our students, their families, and their communities for years to come.”
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.