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Brooke Rayford

The Yass Prize just named the Cristo Rey Network a semifinalist for the 2023 Yass Prize. Selected from nearly 2,000 applications, the Cristo Rey Network is one of 33 semifinalists that collectively serve 520,000+ students across 21 states. A private concert was conducted by The Beach Boys last evening as the 33 awardees were announced in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cristo Rey Network, along with each awardee, will receive $100,000 as the organization competes for the $1 million Yass Prize. 

“It was a night full of gratitude, to say the least,” stated Kelby Woodard, President and CEO of the Cristo Rey Network. “To engage with organizational leaders from across the country that are changing the educational landscape through innovation was truly spectacular. As the only Catholic organization named a semifinalist, we are proud to represent our faith-based traditions and to embark on this exciting journey alongside our 32 inspirational peers.”

The Yass Prize semifinalists are chosen on the basis of their record and commitment to redefining and transforming education. They include providers who deliver AI-infused personalized learning in both traditional and new forms of schooling; small learning environments that give students curricular and program choices; life-saving education and certifications for marginalized and at-risk populations; core content delivery and recruitment training; and empowering programs for underrepresented teachers, parents, and school leaders.

Furthermore, the Cristo Rey Network is in the running for an additional award, the Parents Choice Award, chosen by a nationwide vote through November 25th. If the Cristo Rey Network receives the most votes and is awarded the Parents Choice Award, the $100,000 prize will fuel a new innovation grant for a number of Cristo Rey Network schools to fund local innovative, high-impact projects. 

Semifinalists will participate in a fast-paced Accelerator that will give them access to industry experts from the fields of journalism, finance, politics, and beyond for unique conversations and shared expertise. 

The grand prize $1 million Yass Prize winner and top eight finalists, who will each receive $500,000, will be announced on December 13, in New York City. Click to learn more about the Cristo Rey Network’s involvement in this year’s Yass Prize.

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