I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I recently graduated from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and will be attending Marquette University and majoring in English in hopes of one day attending law school. I want to advocate for those who do not have a voice and fight injustice.
Before Cristo Rey, I attended a public school in Milwaukee. It was very close to my house, just next door. It was a completely different system with a different curriculum. I really wanted a change, not only in the environment, but also in the system and curriculum. I heard about Cristo Rey and it was going to be something completely different: private, Catholic, and far from home.
My parents supported my choice to go to a private school. I am the oldest in my family. I have two younger sisters. My parents trusted me and told me if I thought I would thrive in the environment, they would support me 100%.
“When people see my resume they are astonished by my experience working for four different corporations.”
Cristo Rey has a work study program that makes it very unique. I have worked at a bank, hospital, and in retail. Each of these jobs has helped me build my communications skills and taught me how to work on a team. Each job was different, but each instilled similar values in me.
Cristo Rey has a foundation in Jesuit values. Over four years of high school, they strive for all graduates to have certain competencies: being open to growth and intellectually competent, to name a few. Cristo Rey helps students rise to that level through retreats, rigorous courses, and after school support. They really want you to become a well-rounded person grounded in Jesuit values: physical, mental, and spiritual.
The work component at Cristo Rey is very unique. They train us even before Freshman year starts, during the summer program. We learn communications skills, such as how to effectively make eye contact, how to shake hands, and the value of first impressions. Then we go to our work placements. It is an amazing program that is very valuable to our future. When people see my resume they are astonished by my experience working for four different corporations.
To attend Cristo Rey, I had to apply for the choice program. That program helped pay for my tuition. It would have been very unfortunate if I could not have attended Cristo Rey. My family could not have afforded it without the choice program. I know that if I did not attend Cristo Rey, I would not have been able to attend Marquette.
I think choice is important for all families. The demographics in Milwaukee show rising poverty. Families cannot afford an expensive education. I can only imagine how sad some parents must feel because they cannot give their children access to a high quality education.