“The educational quality of the program is fundamentally different in kind from what anyone else offers,” says Christopher Connor, the CEO of Sherwin-Williams, “because these students are employable. They have work skills and life skills to match that come through the work-study program.”
As much as 70 percent of school costs are covered by students’ earnings, allowing the schools to charge very low tuition to low-income and working-class parents. If students work extra days, they keep their earnings.
Cristo Rey provides rich and regular opportunities for its students to acquire the skills, relationships, and professional behaviors of successful adults by exposing them to the rigorous expectations of the professional workplace.
Despite the four-day academic week, Cristo Rey students complete college-prep courses. At the school in Boston, all graduates were admitted to a four-year college or university this year. One girl is headed for MIT.