Mission: Established in 2004, Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, Inc. (NDCRHS) is a nonprofit organization serving economically challenged youth in grades 9-12. Located in Lawrence, Massachusetts, our mission is to provide a family-centered secondary education in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur that equips these youth with the knowledge and training needed to pursue a college education and quality employment. NDCR replicates a national work-study model first introduced by the Cristo Rey Network of schools in Chicago. Through this model students participate in a full-time work-study program where local corporations sponsor their employment helping them to both gain real-world job experience as well as earn a portion of their annual tuition. In addition, this educational model focuses on capping enrollment at 300-400 students allowing for a personalized learning environment which has proven critical to helping inner-city youth receive the attention and support they need to succeed in high school and prepare for college. Recent statistics cite that over a 40 year work life, an individual with a bachelor's degree will earn approximately $1.1 million more than a high school dropout. In the city of Lawrence, only 5.8 percent of residents aged 25 years and over have obtained a bachelor's degree and 20 percent of the population has less than a 9th grade education. The highest percentage of dropouts in our community continues to be Latino youth. In 2007, 69 percent of incoming 9th graders to NDHS reported that they would be the first in their family to attend college. NDHS exists to help students and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them with a college preparatory secondary education coupled with high quality job training and support.
This school continues to educate and graduate students who are very likely to make a difference in my world and their own. The students are the best ambassadors for the program that allows students of limited means to obtain a fine education and continue on to college armed with both academic credentials and a good knowledge of what it means to work in corporate America. I am honored to be able to share my time, talent and treasure with them.
This school, one of 24 Cristo Rey schools in the United States, is a model for inner city education. Economically challenged students recieve a college preparatory education and corporate work experience as well. The corporations pay tuition directly to the school which covers a large portion of the cost to educate these students. The school boasts a 100% college acceptance rate with the first group of college graduates recieving their degrees this spring. To meet these beautiful young people who are educating themselves upward from poverty is a delight. I help on a weekly basis in a variety of areas and am continually impressed at the accomplishments of the students and the school.
I was the chair of Holy Cross Cares day last year and was introduced to the Notre Dame Criso Rey. The school accepts only students who are from families with limited income. and they are unique because the students attend regular high School classes 4 days a week and on the 5th day they go to a job that helps them pay for part of their tuition. I am so impressed with the 100% graduation rates and the mission and goals of the schools to graduate academically successful students who have professional work experience. The students are very polite and appreciative of their school.