Cristo Rey High School Sacramento provides a quality Catholic college-preparatory education to students who have limited financial resources, and a unique work-study component enriches students’ lives beyond their academic accomplishments. Every student works five days per month, gaining valuable experience in jobs at medical facilities, construction companies, law firms, lobbying firms, marketing and public relations businesses, local government, and more.
“Our work-study program is a way to fund the school, but, more importantly, it is part of our students’ overall education.” David Perry, Ed.D., president, Cristo Rey High School Sacramento
For the 2019-20 school year, Cristo Rey has more than 380 students enrolled in ninth through 12th grades. This past spring, 87 seniors graduated and 100 percent of them were accepted to at least one college. Nearly 70 percent chose a four-year university, including Sacramento State, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UCLA and, for the first time, a Cristo Rey graduate has been accepted at Stanford University.
“Covering 60 percent of our budget, the work-study relationships between our students and the business community are Cristo Rey’s financial engine,” says Cristo Rey’s president, David Perry, Ed.D. “Students work to help cover their education as well as to obtain critical insight into the job market and their futures. Our work-study program has more than 115 business partners, including 10 new ones, so we continue to grow.”
About 80 percent of student-work positions are paid by the businesses receiving the students’ services, while the remaining students work at nonprofits, with a few of those positions funded by local organizations who believe in the program. “We try to convert the unfunded positions into paid positions,” says Perry, “and look to our business community and philanthropic organizations to help us do that.”
Cristo Rey is a key workforce development partner for the Sacramento region. “We’re developing this region’s next generation of workforce through our college prep academics and, in partnership with businesses, our work-study program,” concludes Perry. “We will continue to partner with as many organizations as possible to serve students who otherwise wouldn’t have these opportunities.”