Student Testimonials

Arturo Vallejo
Cristo Rey Columbus '17

Arturo is a senior at Cristo Rey Columbus High School. He will matriculate to Brown University in the fall of 2017.

My Cristo Rey High School experience has been awesome. Cristo Rey has an abundance of opportunities which helped me succeed, some of which I wouldn't have had at my public high school. One of the main elements that stands out from my Cristo Rey education is the Corporate Work Study Program of course. I've gained so much valuable work experience in the business world. Another thing that really stands out is the dedication of the teachers. Every teacher I had wanted me to succeed and pushed me to do better. They were always there ready to help even after school hours.”

Frida Sarabia
Cristo Rey Sacramento High School '17

Frida Sarabia is a senior at Cristo Rey Sacramento High School. She works at Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael at the Cancer Institute in registry with Nurse Navigators, a professional group that helps cancer patients go through the treatment process. Being stationed in oncology, radiation and genetic counseling, she has gained unique insight into how the healthcare system functions. Inspired by her CWSP experience, she hopes to one day be an anesthesiologist.

Frida believes “Cristo Rey is extraordinary because students have the opportunity to gain work experience while studying. This gives you a chance to gain experience in the field you want to pursue and potentially even get a job in the future.”

Mayra Luna
Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit '19

Born in America, Mayra lived in Mexico for 12 years. She describes Cristo Rey as “not a regular school. It’s more like an experience.” Through CWSP, she has worked at Cisco Systems for two years and serves in the capacity of a Project Manager, understanding the technology pieces that need to come together driving everyone towards a common goal. “This school is a really good opportunity for me. It’s teaching me a lot of things: how to manage my time, how to look at someone’s eyes when I’m shaking their hand, how to give presentations. You wouldn’t learn that in a school that doesn’t have a work study.” She wants to go to Harvard University and study International Business. She got a head start when she attended Harvard summer school in 2016.

Watch Emerson Collectives full profile on Mayra.

Jaide Talmadge
Saint Martin de Porres '17

Jaide Talmadge, a member of Saint Martin de Porres High School’s Class of 2017, is heading to Harvard University this fall with a full ride scholarship.

What elements of a Cristo Rey education stand out? One element of Saint Martin’s education that stood out, other than the CWSP, are the teachers. The most important relationships that I developed during high school were the ones formed with the teachers and staff members of Saint Martin. They provided a multitude of opportunities and connections that assisted me greatly during my time here. One staff member even provided me with the contact information of a friend that attended Harvard. There are so many teachers at Saint Martin that adapted to the needs of their students. Personally, I have had plenty of teachers that stayed late, even just to talk. Our teachers truly have invested themselves in the success of their students

Where was your CWSP job, and how did the experience affect your development and education? My freshman year I worked at Cleveland Clinic. My sophomore and junior year I worked at McDonald Hopkins, a law firm downtown. My senior year I worked at Frantz Ward, another law firm. My experience at all my CWSP jobs gave me a sense of confidence, especially when speaking to adults. My experience at Frantz Ward has been particularly rewarding. My coworkers made it their job to introduce me to as many attorneys and people of the firm as possible. When I expressed a slight interest in law, attorneys started trying to assign me more work.

Miriam Garcia
Cristo Rey Columbus '17

Miriam is a member of Cristo Rey Columbus' first graduating class.

"Cristo Rey has been an incredible high school experience. My teachers were always supportive and many opportunities came my way that otherwise would have not happened if I'd gone to another high school. Cristo Rey has prepared me for college not only through their rigorous courses but through encouraging me to take advantage of possible learning opportunities of all kinds. My plan for the future is to continue school and give back to my community as much as I can. I know that without my family and school community I wouldn't be at the place I am now."

Kenndrick Mendieta
Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep '19

Kenndrick is a member of Cristo Rey Dallas' inaugural class and was featured by The Texas Catholic for a story highlighting the school's historic first day. He is an only child of two hard-working parents who emigrated from Mexico 16 years ago seeking more opportunity for their son than they had growing up. At the top of their list was providing a Catholic education for Kenndrick and him being the first in his family to attend college.

"The teachers really want you to learn. I just feel determined to finish the year with good grades...You work hard at Cristo Rey because you want to go to college."

Perla Figuereo
Cristo Rey New York '17

Perla Figuereo is a senior at Cristo Rey New York High School's Class of 2017. She was featured in Cristo Rey New York's 2016 Annual Report discussing the ways she has taken full advantage of her Cristo Rey education.

Tell us about your Corporate Work Study Experience. I’ve worked for J.P. Morgan Chase since I was a freshman. It gives me a sense of maturity and motivation because I am surrounded by young professionals who serve as role models for what I can become once I graduate from college.

What skills have you obtained through your job? At first I never took initiative. I was content with not having much to do. But then I became motivated by my environment and decided to make the best of my time there. I’ve also developed better communication skills. Not only am I more willing to start a conversation with an adult, but I’ve also made more of an effort to better my English and interact more.

Chelsea Cooper
Holy Family Cristo Rey '17

Chelsea is a 16 year-old senior, having skipped a grade when she was younger. She has maintained a 4.5 GPA or higher since freshman year and is a member of the National Honor Society. This strong work ethic translates to her CWSP placement as well, where doctors and patients appreciate her vibrant personality and her dedication to her work.

"I work at Alabama Neurology. I've been there since my sophomore year. I escort patients back to the rooms, get their weight, check their vital signs. We have great conversations...It helped me decide what field I want to go into...The work study is very different; it sets us apart from the average school. Because a lot of students, they've got the education, but until they get out there they don't know. We're a step ahead."