Letter From Leadership

We invite you to respond to a call to action! For 25 years, the Cristo Rey education model has been eliminating socioeconomic and cultural barriers that can inhibit the future success of young people from families of limited economic means. Pioneered by the Society of Jesus, our schools’ distinctive approach to learning includes partnering with businesses, universities, and local communities to deliver a career focused, college preparatory high school education.

Cristo Rey students engage in rigorous academic learning integrated with our Corporate Work Study Program, which provides professional work experience five full days each month, all four years of high school. Employed in fields including Accounting, Engineering, Legal, and Medical Services, students earn the majority of their high school tuition, while building their social and technical acumen to enter and excel at careers they may not otherwise have considered.

The result is that across our nation, Cristo Rey graduates are completing bachelor’s degrees at three times the rate of the total low-income population. While long-term statistics cannot place a value on human potential, the impact of access to opportunity is evident. As Cristo Rey students complete college and secure family-sustaining professional jobs, their economic success creates a ripple effect, impacting multiple lives and reducing generational poverty.

To safeguard and expand our mission for the next 25 years, our national office launched Putting Education to Work, a bold campaign to implement and scale high-impact programming that responds to the changing needs of our schools. We have been blessed by and are profoundly grateful for visionary philanthropists who have generously invested in our $31.5 million goal. These lead gifts enable us to proceed with confidence in advancing our strategic priorities, detailed herein, but we remain in need of new partners to bring our vision to reality.

The challenges emerging as a result of COVID-19 have expanded our priorities, as our schools face significant uncertainties and a need to dramatically modify programming and operations. Yet our vision remains the same, and our national office and school communities are proceeding with urgency to ensure that we continue to deliver academic and workplace learning excellence. Though we anticipate numerous challenges in the near future, our current and future students are too important to let up on our efforts now.

Our country needs Cristo Rey schools now, and we need you. Stand with us for access to opportunity and a more inclusive, equitable society. With your generosity, together, we can break down systemic barriers and build the capacity of tomorrow’s leaders!

Cristo Rey blessings,

Elizabeth Goettl, President and CEO
John E. O'Shea, Board Chair


National Honorary Chairs

John P. Foley, S.J.
Chair Emeritus and Chief Mission Officer, Cristo Rey Network

Thomas W. Horton
Former Chairman,
American Airlines, Inc.

Regional Honorary Chairs

Midwest
Darren R. Jackson
Former CEO, Advance Auto Parts

Edward J. Wehmer
President and CEO, Wintrust

East
Joseph P. Parkes, S.J.
Provincial Assistant for Secondary and Pre-Secondary Education,
Jesuits’ USA Northeast and Maryland Provinces

West
John and Diane Patience

Steering Committee

Kathy Cote
Community Volunteer

Jane E. Genster
Education and Non-Profit Leader

W. Nicholas Howley
Founder, CEO, and Chairman,
TransDigm Group Incorporated

John E. O’Shea, Jr.
CEO, Gemini Midstream

Leo Sheridan
Founder and CEO, Advanced Group