Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School received a $25,000 grant for their student work program. The high school, located in the Ensley neighborhood of Birmingham, provides a quality Catholic, college preparatory education and a unique four-year corporate work study experience. The school is part of the nationwide Cristo Rey Network of 30 high schools that serve underrepresented urban youth. Not only do HFCR students graduate, 100% of their students are accepted into college and most earn some sort of college scholarship. Their primary goal is to break the cycle of poverty by providing low income students with a quality education, meaningful, real world work experience, and a support system that equips and empowers them to continue either education and set lifelong career goals.
While every family of the students are required to pay something for their child to attend the school, the corporate sponsored work programs help cover at least half of the cost of tuition. Local Birmingham companies partner with Holy Family and agree to employee their students. Each student in the program goes one day a week to work. These positions are entry level corporate jobs. Of the students employed by the 90 plus companies involved with the program, 97% were rated as “meeting expectations”. By interacting with these corporate professionals, students gain not only meaningful work experience, but a mentor and an opportunity to see what awaits them after completing their college education.