In these days graduations across all the Network schools will be turning out close to 700 alumni: all from low-income communities and all now college-ready. Universities throughout the country are interested in having these young people at their institutions. We calculate that in another three years the number of graduates will be 1,300 and it will only grow from there. Universities want to grow in their student diversity but often it is so difficult for them to find high-school graduates who are prepared to do the work.
Three years ago Georgetown University hosted a meeting where colleges and universities gathered to discuss how they could best serve the graduates from Cristo Rey Network schools. At that meeting, Dr. Jack DeGioia, president of Georgetown, said that he was interested in these young people not because they were philanthropic or some sort of do-gooders, but because if a university is going to be true to its calling, it must include students who represent the face of America. A university should reflect all sectors of the population it is trying to serve, not just those who can afford it.
Consequently the dialogue with our university partners continues. Many of them want our students and we in turn see the universities as a rich resource for success in our work. We need them and we think they need us. Hopefully our relation will be mutually beneficial. Cristo Rey is about filling the gap, serving those sectors of our society that are traditionally left behind. As we say so often, it’s about leveling the playing field and giving everyone a chance in the lottery.