With the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, three Trailblazers share their gratitude for experiences made possible by Cristo Rey Jesuit and its supporters. At school, in our community, and across the country, these students reflect on how engaging in social justice issues and celebrating culture have helped them gain confidence and pride as Trailblazers.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to perform Ballet Folklorico during the Hispanic Heritage Month Pep Rally. Of course, seeing such a large crowd was scary at first. Yet, my fears disappeared as I soon adapted to my surroundings. Immediately, passion and music took over my body; I felt on top of the world. Not only was I able to grow as a person through my performance, but I was also able to educate the student body and staff about Mexico's magnificent, rich culture. Ballet Folklorico is a vital part of my heritage that the generations before me left for me to share. I am proud to say that this opportunity allowed me to shine and leave an impact on my classmates." - Yoseline '25

"I am very thankful for having the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice (IFTJ) for the second time. This year, I not only went to learn about social injustices, but presented to students at other schools about the experiences with being a first generation American. It was very important to me to present at IFTJ because I wanted other first gen Americans to know they are not alone as they navigate their path in this country. The trip has made me realize that social justice is something that I want to pursue and learn further about in college." - Aydee '24

"When we first received the news that our Latin Pride club would be able to create an ofrenda at the Mitchell Park Domes for the Dia de los Muertos celebration, we were so excited. As a new club, this was one of the first opportunities to showcase who we were as an organization, and what we represented. It was honestly such a warm feeling because I have always been so prideful and engaged in learning more about my culture. Because I have ethnic backgrounds from El Salvador and Mexico, this was a way I could embrace both cultures.'

'Creating the ofrendas was one of the highlights for this school year - being able to laugh and enjoy time with my fellow classmates. Our club was so thankful for our opportunity to bring forth the values that we had set in place for our organization, being open minded and open to new cultures and ideas. We will continue to represent these values because from day one, we have committed ourselves to the openness of cultures and the opportunity to always find a way to bring together our community as a whole." - Emily '24


November 5, 2022 was an milestone in the history books of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. To either win a state championship or have a record-setting fundraising gala could be considered exciting feats in and of themselves. On November 5th, however, we achieved both our first state soccer championship and a record-setting fundraising gala surpassing $700,000 raised for the first time. It is humbling to think of the events on November 5th. In this season of gratitude, I'm grateful for all who’ve been part of building Cristo Rey Jesuit to what it is today. 

One memory that I will always have from the day was an interaction with an alumna who was attending the game to support our Cristo Rey Jesuit soccer team. As a former soccer player and soccer fan, there was very little that could have kept me from seeing at least part of the game where our team played for the state championship. I decided that I would go to the game and then leave for our fundraising gala at half-time.

As I was standing in my tuxedo by our bleachers watching the game and greeting others passing through on the way to our bleachers, one of our alumni approached me, and we began talking. She asked me how I felt about the game. I replied to her that I was proud to be a small part of helping to make it happen. I then turned to her and asked her, as an alumna, how she felt. She replied with some insight that put it all into perspective. She said,Mr. Stith, I feel like this is bigger than a state championship. I looked quizzically at her as I wasn’t sure how much bigger things could get. Then she pointed at the bleachers and said, “Do you see all those kids and families sitting on our side?” I replied, “Yes, why?” She said, “Because they are kids from Cristo Rey and from about four or five other high schools on the south side - public, charter, and private schools. They are all here for us.” She continued, “This is bigger than a state championship because this shows that kids from the south side of Milwaukee can do this. That we belong here and can win at the top levels of soccer. This is for all those growing up on the south side of Milwaukee!” I looked at our alumna and I thanked her for her insight. I had totally underestimated the significance of this moment to the broader community. It was about so much more than a state championship.

In light of our alumna’s comments to me, I reflected upon the core of our mission at Cristo Rey Jesuit. We empower our young people through opportunities in the classroom, in the workplace, through the practice of faith, in co-curricular activities, through the arts, in tech-related activities, and so much more. We can only do this because of the many corporations and donors who support our work. We are grateful to so many for providing the necessary financial resources to ensure our mission is brought to life. I am also thankful that our students continue to place Cristo Rey Jesuit on the map as a destination high school in Milwaukee. Our students give us the opportunity to inspire the community to do so much more than we ever imagined.


Cristo Rey Jesuit empowers its graduates to succeed in college and life. The spring of 2023 marks a milestone in the history of the school as the founding class of 2019 will become college graduates. This month's Class of 2019 spotlight focuses on Victoria Rios. Victoria is attending Marquette University with a job at Baird already lined up after graduation. Discover how this Trailblazer is prepared for success in college and life.


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