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President’s Update

          A Personal Note from President Jim Foley

In early 2011, I was unexpectedly approached to help open a new Cristo Rey High School in Columbus. Accepting would require leaving a 30-year law practice at Vorys and saying goodbye to many wonderful clients and partners. However, the opportunity to shape the education of students in a way never before attempted in Columbus was one I simply could not refuse.

Cristo Rey Columbus High School’s growth since then has been extraordinary. We began with a small staff that has grown into a wonderful community of smart, hard-working people passionate about making a private, college-prep education affordable for those who otherwise could not afford one. We opened in a tiny off ice building in Franklinton and since moved to a national award-winning building in the Discovery District. We have grown from a school of 80 freshmen to a school of 363 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. In June, we will graduate our first class, and by then each graduate will have at least one college off er (and in most cases more than one).

Our Professional Work-Study Program started with 19 job partners. Today, over 100 companies partner with us to provide professional opportunities for all of our students. The work-study program has been so successful that over 90% of last year’s job partners returned to participate again this year.

At Cristo Rey Columbus we boldly aim to transform Columbus one student at a time. And that is the story of our first senior class. The boy who overcame the death of his mother to become President of the National Honor Society. Our co-valedictorians, born in the United States of immigrant parents who did not have the opportunity to graduate from college. The boy who struggled through his sophomore and junior years, upped his academic game as a senior, and is now senior class president. And the many students who began their work-study careers as rookies who now are confident young men and women making strong contributions in a host of off ices throughout Columbus.

Our students have accomplished great things with the help of our staff and our supporters. But there’s much more to be done. We rely on the backing of those who generously give their resources or time to help make our mission possible.

The Professional Work-Study Program is a unique way that businesses can change the lives of students who have limited educational options. This is the secret sauce of Cristo Rey Columbus. Students learning to do real, professional work and making significant contributions at their jobs is a good thing. Knowing that their work experience allows them to afford a college-prep education, learn about career possibilities, and develop a strong sense of professionalism is a great thing. It is nothing short of transforming Columbus one student at a time.

 Jim Foley, School President
(614) 223-9261