Leadership Voices: A Message from Fr. Joseph Parkes, SJ


This message was originally published in a Cristo Rey New York Spring newsletter on May 8, 2018.

Dear Friends,
As we enter into my final spring here as President of Cristo Rey, I am reminded of how far we have come since our opening fourteen years ago. I am reminded of the building itself, how it has been transformed over the years from two small, brick 19th-century buildings to a beautiful, cohesive 21st-century facility. I am reminded of our very first students, the 99 individuals who made up the Class of 2008, and all of the hard work they did to set  a precedent for the classes to come. Most importantly, I am reminded of all the extraordinary things this class has gone on to do because of the opportunities they found here:

  • Amaidani Boncenor: Fordham University ’12, University of Wisconsin Law School ’17; Director of Admissions at Cristo Rey Milwaukee
  • Abiezer (Abe) Mendez: Fordham University ’12; Assistant Vice President at Barclays in London
  • Ana Rosado: Swarthmore College ’12; PhD student, nineteenth century African-American history, Northwestern University

This class set the bar high, and I am proud to say that each subsequent class has worked to raise that bar even higher. Flash forward to today, and we are among the highest performing schools in the Cristo Rey Network. Just like the Class of ’08, our current students are succeeding at work, in the classroom, and beyond.

Ten classes later, here’s a look at some of the places the Class of 2018 will be off to in the fall:

  • Fernando Sanchez, Columbia University, and Cynthia Reyes, Williams College; both with full tuition, room and board scholarships as QuestBridge Match Scholars
  • Denzel Capellon, Hamilton, and Roberto Gabriel Brito, Dartmouth, were named QuestBridge Scholars
  • Chris Gonzalez, Franklin & Marshall, with a full tuition scholarship as a Posse Scholar
  • Twelve seniors are committed to Fordham University so far, continuing the strong relationship we have had with the university since our founding

Cristo Rey is filled with excitement and anticipation as the year comes to a close with a lot of change on the horizon. While this season means I will be stepping down from my position as President of CRNYHS, it also means the welcoming of Dan Dougherty, the next president of Cristo Rey, who will transition fully into role on July 1, 2018.

The joyous spirit of the season is evident everywhere at Cristo Rey, with so much to be proud of and so much to look forward to. Thank you all for joining us on this journey and supporting us through it all. It has been an honor to be President of this school for the last fourteen years, and I am so looking forward to staying connected to you all in the future.

With gratitude and prayers,

Fr. Joseph P. Parkes, SJ


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