CHICAGO – The flooding that devastated the campus of Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School and much of the city of Baton Rouge earlier this month inspired quick responsive action by Cristo Rey schools across the country. The Baton Rouge school officially opened its doors only seven days before it was forced to close them indefinitely. As Cristo Rey Baton Rouge moved to temporary quarters, the 31 other Network schools mobilized to support the work of the newest school, challenging each other in creative ways to help raise money to replace lost technology, materials, uniforms, and furniture necessary to equip the school’s students and faculty for its first academic year.
The Class of 2018 at Cristo Rey High School in Sacramento challenged all junior classes to “meet or beat” their pledge to fund a new student laptop. Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, DePaul Cristo Rey High School, Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Washington DC, the Class of 2017 atImmaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco, Cristo Rey Columbus High School, Cristo Rey Oklahoma City High School (on target to open in 2017), Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School,Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School, Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School in Lawrence, and San Miguel High School in Tucson joined the challenge. Gifts were made for laptops, lockers, new uniforms, and more.
Momentum grew as Cristo Rey Jesuit Milwaukee High School set a goal to raise $5 for each student, faculty, and staff member and issued a video challenge to Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep. Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep accepted the challenge declaring “we are all Cristo Rey,” and then called on Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston to join the challenge. Cristo Rey Jesuit Houston responded with a video challenge of its own to Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver. Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Twin Cities sent a video message of support from its entire student body, and Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School students are designing shirts for Cristo Rey Baton Rouge students. Members of the Holy Family Cristo Rey High School in Birmingham and Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis communities are personally transporting needed supplies they have collected to Baton Rouge. And Solidarity Days have been planned by Cristo Rey Brooklyn and Christ the King Prep Newark.
“We have been blessed beyond measure from the donations that have come in and continue to come in to support our Cristo Rey family,” said Kendall C. Hebert, Development Director of Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School. “This is the power of the Cristo Rey Network of schools!”
The school has also received generous contributions from Cristo Rey Network and school board members; school presidents, faculty, and staff; national staff members; University Partner Georgetown University; and numerous friends.
“This is the Cristo Rey Network in action, the power and heart of the collective at work,” said Cristo Rey Network President and CEO Jane E. Genster. “These actions palpably convey the deep sense of community; pervasive care for and commitment to each individual; and the ingenuity, optimism, resolve, hard work, and laser focus on mission that characterize our 32 schools and their supporters.”
Cristo Rey Baton Rouge has also benefited from the generous support from their surrounding community, including the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the many Corporate Partners who employ its students. The second “first” day of school was on Monday, August 29th at the Bon Carre Business Center, where classes will be conducted temporarily. With all Corporate Partner sites operational, the Corporate Work Study Program will resume on Tuesday, September 6th.
Article republished with permission from JSN