New Catholic high school makes college a reality for Kansas City’s low income residents

.- A new Catholic high school is making waves in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas--and providing a college preparatory education to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Christo Rey Catholic high school will open its doors this August for its first class of low-income students from around metropolitan Kansas City.

113 students gathered for orientation on June 19th where they were instructed on topics ranging from dressing for success, team building, and workplace ethics--all of which, school officials hope, will help them succeed in the school’s mandatory work-study program.

The school’s unique approach will allow students to work at any of 30 participating local businesses, using their pay to cover all or most of their tuition costs. This, Christo Rey officials hope, will help build a work ethic which will prepare students for college and life goals thereafter.

The school, whose stated mission is to “provide a Catholic, college prep education enhanced by an innovative corporate work-study program to culturally diverse students with economic need,” is modeled after a similar one in Chicago.

Sister Vickie Perkins SCL, the school’s president told Kansas City’s Leaven newspaper that the keys to the school are economic hardship and serious students who are expected to continue on to college. “If you can afford another Catholic high school,” she said, “you can’t come here.”

In addition, nationally, 95 % of graduates from Christo Rey schools go on to college or university.

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