September 26, 2017
Fr. Joseph P. Parkes, S.J., President, Cristo Rey New York High School
While Cristo Rey New York students were free from (most of) their school work this summer, they were never far from the classroom. Seventy-five of our rising juniors and seniors participated in rigorous summer programs at colleges and universities throughout the country, thirty-nine of which were generously funded by the Gerstner Family Foundation’s gift of $150,000 to our Summer Scholars Program.
The Gerstner Family Foundation is focused on access to excellent education for students grades K-12, with an emphasis on Catholic schools in inner cities. Just like Cristo Rey, they aim to “support students who have talent and determination but whose opportunity to excel is limited because of their economic circumstances.” With these funds, we were able to double the number of students who would typically attend these types of programs.
Students were able to experience what it is like to live on a college campus, take higher-level classes, and foster new relationships. Our students participated in a wide variety of programs encompassing the vast range of talents they possess. Miguel [’18 learned about computer coding at Syracuse, while Justin R. ’18 learned veterinary skills at Tufts. Marbelline ’18 (pictured above with new friends) studied criminal justice at George Washington, while Jose and Justin G. experienced a glimpse into a military college at Norwich University, and were awarded for their leadership skills there. CRNYHS students were represented at prestigious schools from coast to coast, including Columbia, Fordham, NYU, Brown, Notre Dame, and UCLA. They came back with a new sense of excitement about their futures, and an invigorated drive to make their dream schools a reality.