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January 28, 2021

High school boy stands in front of sign

Cristo Rey San Diego High School opened in August 2020 as the 37th school in the national Cristo Rey Network. Their approach of combining real-world work experience and rigorous academics has shown positive results, including 20,600 graduates and 90% college enrollment. Nationally, Cristo Rey graduates are 3x more likely to complete a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to other low-income students.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership connected with Steven Egge, Director of Corporate Work Study to learn more about their successful approach to learning and preparing for a career.

How is Cristo Rey San Diego High School different from other private schools?

The average family earns $37,000 annually. Ninety-eight percent of the students are students of color. Most will be the first in their families to attend college. Families pay tuition on a sliding scale, averaging $860 annually. And every student has a job at some of San Diego’s top companies.

How is Cristo Rey San Diego impacting the community?

Rady ChildrensSan Diego companies have seen the students become reliable, successful workers. Partner companies are building a pipeline of diverse, experienced and educated talent for the future workplace, while unlocking the potential of the students of Cristo Rey. Like the San Diego Workforce Partnership, Cristo Rey is committed to developing opportunities in the workplace and preparing future employees for success.

Any partnership highlights you’d like to share?

Through the innovative Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), every student works five days a month at a San Diego company. A team of four students fills the equivalent of one full-time position. Corporate partners include CBRE, Latham & Watkins, Casa Cornelia Law Center, Scripps Mercy, Rady’s Children’s Hospital, Precision Diagnostics, Father Joe’s Village, American Red Cross, Junior Achievement, Schrodinger, AimLoan, Expeditors Int’l, USS Midway, Diocese of San Diego and Catholic Charities.

What else do you want the community to know about?

The demand for Cristo Rey San Diego is growing as many of the families we serve have been the most vulnerable during these challenging times. The student enrollment is expected to more than double next year, to a total of 150 students. Additional partner companies are needed to support the growing number of students, help transform the landscape for youth in under-resourced communities and empower them to succeed in college and the workplace.

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