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Cristo Rey Network's New Collaboration with Accenture Helps Keep Up Students' Career Advancement During the Pandemic
Cristo Rey Network's New Collaboration with Accenture Helps Keep Up Students' Career Advancement During the Pandemic
Jessie Fenton

Cristo Rey Network and Accenture are working hand-in-hand to make a real impact this school year.

Cristo Rey Network has teamed up with Accenture, a Fortune 500 global professional services company, to deliver a 10-week virtual work-study experience for students nationwide. The program, Learning to Lead, kicked off in September and has engaged with over 790 students at 14 Cristo Rey schools around the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Cristo Rey students unable to attend their normal Corporate Work Study Program, in which they would travel to work one day a week. As a solution, these two organizations launched a virtual professional development experience designed to immerse Cristo Rey students in the corporate culture and equip them with skills needed to succeed in the business world.

"Given the disproportionate health and economic impact that COVID-19 has had on communities of color—and the disruption it has caused in these students' lives—we were determined not to let this disease stop them from building their future careers," said Marty Rodgers, Market Unit Lead – South, Accenture, who oversees the company's relationship with Cristo Rey. "These young people are, by definition, hard-working—they are literally working to pay their way through high school—and the Learning to Lead program is how we are embracing change and creating a more inclusive workforce for the future. Not only do these students learn from us, but we learn from them—and we improve together."


Drawing from its deep expertise in technology and experience working with interns, Accenture engaged in a pro bono project to rapidly develop a 10-week interactive curriculum for Cristo Rey this summer. A team of Accenture technologists, strategists and designers facilitate sessions each week on topics spanning from public speaking and personal brand to business finance and emerging technology to help Cristo Rey students build a foundational understanding of key areas that are defining the future of work and business.

Cristo Rey Network and Accenture are working hand in hand to make a real impact this school year, and the partnership is going strong.

"We are grateful for the dedicated support from the Accenture team as they continue to provide immense value to Cristo Rey students," said Alejandro Leza, Director of Corporate Work Study at Cristo Rey Network. "The opportunity to collaborate with peers across the country every week in new and unique ways is an experience that will truly benefit students today and in the workplace of tomorrow."