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Open House gives families a look at Cristo Rey’s work-study culture

For the past decade, Detroit Cristo Rey High School, known as the school that works, has prepared students for the professional world. Last month, the school’s open house welcomed prospective students that could be part of the next decade of Cristo Rey.

Cristo Rey, a small private catholic school that opened in 2008, has a college preparatory curriculum that prepares students for college and the workplace. Ms. Ines Leal, director of admissions at Cristo Rey, said students enroll at Cristo Rey not only for the education but also for the work experience.

“When our graduates start college they already have four years of work experience,” said Leal. “Any job that hires them will be impressed by their resumes. Students who attend [Detroit Cristo Rey] also get the opportunity to take college courses their senior year on the University of Detroit Mercy campus.”

Parents who attended the open house were impressed by the opportunities the work program provides Detroit teenagers. Students work for local companies to learn how everything functions in a professional workplace. A parent whose daughter currently attends Detroit Merit Academy said, “I like the support of college and the really great work study [program].”

Likewise, the mother of Leslie, a prospective student from Most Holy Trinity school, said“ I want my kid to go to college, to focus on school and moving forward.”

Both parents wish for their daughters to finish high school with an idea of what it’s like to work in a company and with the tools to succeed in college. Parents realize that attending Cristo Rey is not easy work, but it encourages students to work at their highest potential so that by senior year they are responsible, determined and respectful. Tania, a prospective student, said, “I know a recent graduate; she’s responsible and seems to be successful.” Tania recognizes that coming to DCR might help her for her future by acknowledging previous graduates’ success.

The mother of Valeria, a prospective student from Cesar Chavez Academy, said “[I] wouldn't ask for anything else, I think she's going to do well here.”

Ricardo Campos, one of the student tour guides at the open house, said, “One of the main questions parents [asked me] was concerning the safety of their children. From experience [I] was able to tell them that [Detroit Cristo Rey] is a safe and caring school. We don’t tolerate bad behavior and we ought to to be disciplined in the classroom and at work.”

At the open house, parents asked the teachers and volunteers many questions. Every parent wants the best school for their children, and with many schools in the Detroit area, it’s a tough decision. Open house allows the parent and child to visualize what it’ll be like for them. To gain more insight on what it’ll be like to go to that particular school. Open house at Detroit Cristo Rey allows families to do that. 


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