Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, Waukegan, IL

In 2004, the Sisters of the Holy Child founded Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep in partnership with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, Resurrection Fathers, Viatorians, and St. Mary’s Parish, Lake Forest.

Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep is a Catholic, coeducational college preparatory school. As a Cristo Rey Network school, Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep makes education affordable through each student’s participation in the Corporate Internship Program. Students work one day a week at an entry-level job in the corporate world, while spending the other four days in the classroom. Four students work at one job for one day each week. The salaries the students earn pay for most of their tuition for the year.

At Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, each student is encouraged to develop to their full potential in an atmosphere of mutual respect for the religious and cultural heritage of every individual.

As an endorser of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, the Society appoints two board members, publicly supports the schools, contributes personnel and money as able, and shares the Society’s educational traditions.


Klarizsa has blossomed during her time at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep.

“My entire life I’ve watched people struggle–in my neighborhood, in my schools, and even in my own home,” shares Klarizsa Padilla. Klarizsa’s parents, who came to the U.S. from Mexico, work hard to provide their eight children with the opportunities they never had. Attending Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep is one of those opportunities for Klarizsa. “My family lives amidst society’s low expectations. We’re expected to repeat cycles of poor homes, bad schools, and strained family relations. I want my siblings to know that with persistence and hard work, against all odds, they can earn success.”

This summer, Klarizsa studied in pre-college programs at Georgetown University and at MIT. Last summer, she studied at Stanford University. “I’ve grown up in a less privileged community amidst financial and academic challenges, but it’s made me realize the value of a college education. I’m honored to be one of the many fortunate students attending St. Martin,” she says.