Mission and History


Mission

The Cristo Rey Network of high schools delivers a career focused, college preparatory education in the Catholic tradition for students with limited economic resources, uniquely integrating rigorous academic curricula with four years of professional work experience and support to and through college. We partner with educators, businesses and communities to enable students to fulfill their aspirations for a lifetime of success.


History

When Cristo Rey Jesuit High School opened under the leadership of John P. Foley, S.J. in 1996, it introduced a highly innovative integration of academic and professional experience to Catholic secondary education in the United States. The model had immediate appeal, first to Catholic educators across the country and soon after to prominent philanthropists committed to educational reform.

Through the talent and commitment of local communities and generous and enthusiastic support from philanthropic investors, the Cristo Rey Network has grown over the last 20 years from a single school in south Chicago to a national network of 35 schools. During a period when traditional Catholic schools were shuttering their doors at an alarming rate, the Cristo Rey Network has grown into the largest network of high schools in the country that exclusively serves low-income students.

this is a story about mission-driven innovation in education—innovation that is giving thousands of children an opportunity to access high- quality university preparatory education.

- Tom Vander Ark
CEO, GettingSmart


Timeline of Growth