"My Cristo Rey experience was life changing. I don’t use that term lightly either. Cristo Rey got me through the hardest years of my life and I am so thankful for the support that they showed me. Cristo Rey taught me how to create opportunity from very little - it showed me that believing in someone can unleash their true potential. Cristo Rey believing in me was the most important thing that could have happened during my teenage years. I will always look back at my time there fondly."
Nikki Pasamic graduated from ICA Cristo Rey Academy in 2014 and pursued her education at the University of San Francisco. She graduated with her bachelor's in 2018 and currently works as an audit associate for Ernst & Young.
“ICA Cristo Rey is a community that challenges young women to meet high expectations. I grew up feeling empowered as I saw and learned from the successes of amazing women in the corporate world. I learned to persevere and develop time management and communication skills to get the work done and done well.”
Guillermo Cruz is a great example of the long term impact of a Cristo Rey education. After graduation he matriculated to a local two-year community school and worked hard and successfully transferred to DePaul University. While at Cristo Rey and throughout college, he worked for Aon. After graduating from DePaul, Aon offered him a full-time position. “I get to work with clients such as Live Nation, who organize mainstream concerts and having had great relationships ever since my high school years with people inside the corporate offices, working in the H.R. department and going back during my school breaks, I didn’t have any doubt this was the place where I wanted to work.” Guillermo earns more than his parents have ever made in a year and his dream is to buy them their first home.
He also remains active in the Cristo Rey Jesuit Chicago community, from helping to develop the school’s Alumni Network to coaching the flag football team in the fall and boy’s volleyball in the spring. “It is our responsibility as alumni of Cristo Rey to come back to this school and become a helping hand to current students…so that the students can look up to us and say: ‘I want to be like him or her one day!'"
Notre Dame Cristo Rey '08
College of the Holy Cross '12
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
"Like many other Cristo Rey graduates I was the first in my family to graduate from college. Upon graduating, I began working with elders in a non-profit in my hometown Lawrence, MA. From my work with them, I discovered my love for the elderly and helping others. I also learned after graduating college, that education does not end after a bachelor’s degree. In the coming months, I will be preparing to take the MCAT and apply to medical school this June. My ultimate goal will be to have a career in medicine that involves traveling to Africa among other continents and/or working with elders."
Cristo Rey Newark '11
The College of New Jersey '15
Bachelor of Science in Criminology
Seton Hall University School of Law
Angelika is currently an Assistant District Attorney working in the state of New York.
"Cristo Rey helped me understand that I could go to college and eventually reach my dream of becoming an attorney. Cristo Rey guided me by assigning me to work at law firms once a week and seeing what my future life could be like. Those experiences truly helped me with my resume for college and even helped me with my resume for law school."
|Saul Becerra Hernandez|
Cristo Rey Jesuit Twin Cities '13
Saint Mary's University '13
Bachelor's in Finance
Through the Corporate Work Study Program, Saul worked at BMO Harris Bank where he developed his passion for business. He is currently a senior at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, a Cristo Rey University Partner.
“The more time and effort you put into something, the more success will come along the way.”
This mindset started when Becerra worked at BMO Harris Bank. This led Becerra to major in finance at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, where he attends on a full-ride scholarship through the First Generation Initiative (FGI) program. “This semester I’m taking entrepreneurial finance and learning different viewpoints in the financial industry.”
Becerra would like to continue gaining experience with different financial institutions to find his career calling. Becerra firmly believes he has the qualifications to succeed in the financial world. “One thing is that I know how to conduct myself professionally around individuals and help guide them through their financial process whether it is in the risk management side of finance or the investment side of finance.”
He was recently featured in the Voices of Cristo Rey blog.
Cristo Rey Sacramento '09
University of the Pacific '13
Bachelor of Arts in Applied Sciences, Pre-Pharmacy Studies
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences '16
Doctor of Pharmacy
My four years at Cristo Rey Sacramento High School were an enriching and rewarding experience that I would not trade for anything. Because of the unique work study component of the curriculum, I not only learned academics that prepared me for college, but also matured and gained confidence by working alongside health professionals. I had the great privilege of working at Sutter Medical Center for four years, which exposed me to the health care field and cemented my interest in a medical profession.
Seeing “Dr. Singh” in emails addressed to me is surreal; as a freshman, I never dreamed of graduating at the age of 23 with a doctorate, let alone two degrees! But I can say with absolute faith that Cristo Rey is what helped make this into a reality—by allowing me to spread my wings, step out of my shell, and mature into the health professional that I am today. My teachers and coworkers were always there when I needed them, and by my senior year, I knew that they would remain lifelong friends and mentors.
She was recently featured in Voices of Cristo Rey.
Verbum Dei High School '09
Georgetown University '13
Bachelor of Science in Finance and Management with a Concentration on New & Small Business
"My Cristo Rey experience was life-changing. Overall I learned a lot about myself. That is the most important thing I could take away from the experience, besides a diploma...I bring Verbum Dei with me wherever I go.”
After graduating from Georgetown University, Dominique started work at Morgan Stanley where he is currently a Wealth Advisor, Financial Planning Specialist. He has been with Morgan Stanley for five years, where he also serves on two Diversity & Inclusion Councils. Dominique is the Founder of The DJ|JD Foundation, a nonprofit focused on financial literacy in inner city communities, providing scholarships and teaching principles on financial independence. He was recently featured in the Voices of Cristo Rey blog.
"My mother and I chose Cristo Rey because we believed it would provide me with the best foundation to be great and also a one-of-a-kind education. I built lasting relations with friends, teachers, and administrators. I was introduced to the corporate and professional world at a young age. I received a college ready education that helped me to excel and be as successful as I was at Stevenson. And I had fun in between. Cristo Rey helped me to realize who I was as a person and began the molding process for the woman I am becoming today."
Karis graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School - Baltimore and continued her education at Stevenson University, having received a scholarship throughout her four years. She is about to embark on a career as a case manager at INNterim Housing Corporation, fulfilling her dream to help others. She will be working with homeless women and children, as they achieve their own education and career goals.
She was featured in Voices of Cristo Rey.
What elements of your Cristo Rey education stand out?
How did Cristo Rey prepare you for college?
Alberto Morales is a Chicago native and
currently serves as the Data Manager in the Communities Program for the Robert
R. McCormick Foundation. He is responsible for evaluating the
grantmaking portfolio, with a focus on racial equity, to help inform program
impact and strategies, grant recommendations, and donor communication.
Previously, Alberto served as Assistant Director of the Georgetown Scholarship Program, empowering over 600 first-generation students. Alberto has also worked on education, immigration, voter and reproductive rights, and civic engagement policies through his positions at Brown University, Voto Latino, and Latino Victory Project.
Alberto is a 2018 Fellow with: World Economic Forum (Global Shapers), New Leaders Council Chicago, Aspen Ideas, Hispanics in Philanthropy. He serves on the associate board for the National Museum of Mexican Art and executive board for New Leaders Council Chicago.
Devonte' Smith and John Frank
“When I began, like any other 14-year-old working in a professional environment, I was shy and nervous. However, I was placed in a great department, and I also had a great supervisor who I referred to as my work mom, which is part of the reason why I’m still there today. During my sophomore year, I was asked if I could work over school breaks. And I continued to work during breaks for the next seven years, even after I graduated. Because of my hard work and dedication, I was offered a full-time position. For almost three years I supervised John Frank Largent, and I saw the same kid that I was at his age. One thing about John is that he’s very self-motivated and believed that ‘If DeVonte’ worked hard then maybe this same opportunity is out there for me,’” said Devonte' (pictured left).
“Over the course of working at ShurTech Brands, I gained the confidence, leadership skills, and motivation that I need to succeed in life, shaping me into a reflective and profound individual. I also built a connection with DeVonte’, who, as a mentor, has been able to guide me with advice throughout my high school career," said John (pictured right).
Dana is a graduate of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School - Twin Cities' second class and is the first in her family to go to college. “To be where I am today would not have been possible without Cristo Rey. As a first-generation college student, it wasn’t easy, let alone as a student in professional school. Cristo Rey was always there to remind me that if I was able to make it this far, I still had it in me to make it farther. Cristo Rey impacted my life in making it possible for me to become the person my family, teachers, and community are proud of. I owe it all to Cristo Rey for becoming the first chapter of my academic success stories."