Even better, every single student in the senior class has been accepted to a two-year or four-year college or university. Some even received several acceptance letters. Some were accepted to as many as seven schools. In total, Cristo Rey Jesuit seniors have received 145 acceptance letters from 37 universities and colleges in 13 states. These seniors are also pulling in an impressive amount of scholarship money – $821,930 in total.
Not only is Cristo Rey creating college-bound learners, it is also proving to be an effective solution to what has become a fast growing achievement gap in the Twin Cities.
The Cristo Rey network (a total of 25 schools nationally) works with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) to track college enrollment and graduation. For the graduating classes of 2008-2011, 89 percent of Cristo Rey graduates have enrolled in college and 89 percent of these students (for the classes of 2008-2009) have persisted into their sophomore year. This percent is nearly twice the rate of non-Cristo Rey students from the same socio-economic background.
Cristo Rey Jesuit graduates its third class on June 8 at 2 p.m. The commencement speaker for the ceremony is Father Greg Boyle, S.J. Boyle is the founder of Homeboy Industries, one of the largest gang intervention and reentry programs in the country and inspiration for his New York Times best selling book, "Tatoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion."
Members of the Cristo Rey 2013 graduating class have been reading essays from Boyle's book in their theology classes and talking about the parallels between Los Angeles and the Phillips-West neighborhood in terms of gang violence and programs to reach out to high-risk populations through job opportunities.
To learn more about Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and the 2013 graduating class, visit its website at www.cristoreytc.org.