Statue Cristo Redentor

Shortly when I heard regarding President Bush's proposal for Pell Grants for low-income youngsters to attend parochial colleges, I finished reading quite a Dream: The Christo Rey Story, a inspirational book regarding the founding of the primary Christo Rey Jesuit highschool in Chicago's Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood.

More than a Dream may be a history of the challenges that Jesuit leaders and Jesuit faculty alumni faced twelve years ago. Cristo Rey started with a spotlight on its neighborhood, to coach low income Hispanic highschool students whereas charging their families very little to no tuition. rather than being charged full tuition, students would be needed to figure in some unspecified time in the future per week in a very company sponsored internship program and sign their wages over to the college. additionally to the work-study arrangement, Cristo Rey taught non-language arts courses: social studies, science, faith and humanities in Spanish so students might learn these subjects in their stronger language. Cristo Rey conjointly tried to bridge faculty and work with orientations also as experiential learning. Since 1997, the primary Cristo Rey faculty has had tremendous success in obtaining low-income students into Jesuit and state supported faculties.

However, this faculty grew from meager beginnings. It failed to admit freshman initially, as a promise to not place different Chicago-area Catholic colleges at a competitive disadvantage; it conjointly scheduled entrance examinations on totally different dates from the opposite colleges. It failed to admit students who had criminal records, or special wants, as public colleges should do, and it had a awfully modest facility, a closed Catholic middle faculty with a roller skating rink that was later converted into the cafeteria.

Cristo Rey ran deficits in far more than $1 million for its initial 5 years in operation, however Jesuit clerics and Jesuit faculty alumni from the business community stayed the course.

I doubt politicians and voters would are equally patient with a public charter faculty that had an equal variety of scholars.

Today, Cristo Rey is among thirty high colleges in nineteen cities run by the national Cristo Rey Network. The Nativity Miguel Network, the same venture, has sixty four members, largely middle colleges. each are wonderful models for delivering an education to low income students in cities that have a company community giant enough to support the internship program. as an example, near my home, the Network opened the primary new Catholic faculty in Newark since 1964, welcoming one zero five students in September 2007. Newark was the most effective town for the Network to open a replacement faculty in New Jersey; it's the most important company and university community among the state's urban centers, and therefore the larger firms, particularly Prudential, are stand-out contributors to social services and economic development within the town.

One cannot facilitate however be awed by the determination and accomplishments of the Cristo Rey Network.

It conjointly makes me marvel why different parochial faculty educators have approached President Bush for fiscal relief, when there are such a lot of lessons regarding fundraising, leadership and educational programming to be learned from the Cristo Rey story.

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