Graduation season is in full swing and graduating seniors across the country are prepping for their next steps. But the 47 graduates from Cristo Rey High School in Columbus, Ohio, are all prepping for college. Each member of the senior class has received at least one college acceptance letter and many attribute this success to the rigorous academic programming and the school’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP).
100% College Acceptance Rate? Not Bad for Cristo Rey Columbus’ First Graduating Class!
Cristo Rey Columbus High School is a private school in downtown Columbus that opened in 2013 and is graduating its first class this year. The school focuses on students from lower-income and lower-middle class families, integrating rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through the CWSP. The students are given a unique opportunity to work with and learn from professionals who help them understand potential career paths.
Work-Study Sets Students Apart From the Competition
The CWSP functions like a temporary employment agency, sending students to work in entry-level jobs for 5 days per month all four years of high school. Students’ school fees are primarily covered by employers in exchange for the students’ work. The program is nationally-based with more than 2,000 corporate sponsors participating. Sponsors allow the students to explore areas of professional interest while filling entry-level positions that allow them to give back to their communities.
The work study program also helps to teach the students the basics: answering phones, shaking hands, making small talk. Learning these skills prior to entering the post-secondary world gives the students a leg up on the competition.
Glenda Emanuel will enter her junior year at Cristo Rey Columbus High School in the fall of 2017. She worked with the IGS Energy Home Services team this past school year. “I’ve learned so much during my time at IGS. I’ve met so many people who have given me insight and new ideas for my future that I never would have gotten had I not been a part of the IGS team,” Glenda said. Glenda will graduate in the spring of 2019 and has plans to attend UCLA and become a prosecutor.
“It’s been such a great experience watching Glenda grow throughout her time here,” said Jason Richards, Operation Manager of IGS Energy Home Services. “We all love having her around. So much so that we’ve offered her a summer internship with our team.”
The Major Differentiator: Exceptional Partnerships with Exceptional Organizations
IGS supports the CWSP, making annual investments of $27,000, and is viewed as a model site for other corporate partners. “We look for partners who have meaningful work for the students to do, and who are interested in helping young people grow professionally,” Kristin Mutchler, the assistant director of Cristo Rey Columbus High School’s Work Study program said. “The strong relationships that result from participating have an extraordinary impact on student achievement.”
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