TRAILBLAZING ALUMNAE RETURN TO CRJ TO INSPIRE OTHERS!

A familiar face, but a new role ... CRJ welcomes Daniela Garcia, ‘19 as its newest Admissions Coordinator. Daniela is a member of the founding class and recently graduated from Alverno College as one of CRJ’s first two college graduates. As Admissions Coordinator, Daniela is tasked with helping recruit future Trailblazers. “I look forward to sharing my story with prospective students and how my Cristo Rey education prepared me for college, career and life.”


Daniela gives credit to her Cristo Rey Jesuit teachers and CWSP experiences for preparing her for college and for a professional career.I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to join CRJ. My CWSP placement at Catholic Financial Life truly prepared me for my life after high school and for my career at Alverno in communication. I am grateful for my CRJ teachers who believed in me and pushed me throughout the years, and I am so excited that I can now call them my co-workers and colleagues.”


Daniela isn’t the only alumna who has returned to Cristo Rey Jesuit. Ailed Martinez, ‘22 currently volunteers with students in CRJ’s College Readiness class as a mentor. Ailed volunteers two days a week as part of her service learning requirement for her Burke Scholarship at Marquette. “It is really great to be able to come back and help my former classmates with any questions they have so they can be successful after graduation. I’m also eager to keep learning more about other areas outside of Postgraduate Success, and the fact I get to do it with my former teachers is such a blessing.”


Whether it is helping future Trailblazers find a home at Cristo Rey Jesuit or mentoring current students as they prepare for college, these alumnae are making an impact in the CRJ community. The paramount objective of a Jesuit education is to create men and women for others, and Daniela and Ailed are living out that call by sharing their gifts to help future generations.

PRESIDENT'S PERSPECTIVE
A REFLECTION FROM ANDY STITH

The moment a prospective student opens an envelope and reads the long-awaited words “Congratulations and welcome to Cristo Rey Jesuit” is incredibly special for many families. The work students have done in their grade schools, the long application process, the wait to know if they’ve been accepted in the School Choice lottery for Cristo Rey Jesuit, and the anxiety about the unknown future culminates when a student receives the letter that indicates they’ll be attending Cristo Rey Jesuit High School next year. Responses of relief, shock, joy, excitement, pride, and a sense of accomplishment are all emotions that prospective students and families feel when they receive their letter welcoming them as part of our next freshman class. Up until now, our Admissions office had the good fortune to be part of these moments, but we decided to do something different this year. 


Admissions Director Maria Hansen, a couple of our current students, and I had the opportunity to welcome some of our newest students and families to our community by visiting their homes and presenting them with acceptance letters. We hadn’t done this before, but it was easily one of the most enjoyable experiences I have had in my last eight years as president. We set up the visit with the parents, and it was a surprise to most of the students. Big smiles greeted us when the door opened to each home we visited as students, parents, grandparents, younger brothers and sisters, and cousins all wanted to be part of the experience. We were even offered meals at a couple of the homes! In one of the visits, after the son read his acceptance letter, his mother immediately ran across the room and hugged him with the strength of a mother who was so proud of her boy. In another home, we heard the words “muchas gracias” from a mother over and over and over again as she was excited about the opportunity her son now had in coming to our school. Lastly, in the front yard of a third home a father recorded on his phone our presentation to his daughter. He was beaming on the steps of his house with his younger daughters on hand to witness his oldest daughter’s success. As we were leaving that house, the father exclaimed from the steps of his porch, “You just made my day!” and proceeded to go talk to another neighbor about his daughter’s accomplishment. 


What struck me about all the visits was the hope that our prospective families had in the future they and their sons and daughters had chosen through our school. As a Catholic and Jesuit school, we are often reflecting on how we are accompanying our students and families into a hope-filled future. We strive to be such a place that students and parents have trust and confidence in to give students every opportunity to realize this hope. I’ve often said that Cristo Rey Jesuit’s ripple effect extends well beyond the students in our school. Our families, staff members, work study partners, board members, donors, and community partners are all part of the hope we have for the future of Milwaukee. It is humbling to think that sharing a brief visit delivering an acceptance letter to a prospective student in a family’s kitchen, living room, or on the front porch contains the hopes of so many people. Being present to hear those words “Congratulations and welcome to Cristo Rey Jesuit…” by an incoming student helps me to remember how important kindling hope is to the work we do.

CRJ SENIOR AWARDED OPUS SCHOLARSHIP AT MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY

For just the second time in CRJ history, a CRJ student received the prestigious OPUS scholarship at Marquette University! Congratulations to senior Adrian who recently received the good news. In December, Adrian shared that he had been accepted to Marquette University to study engineering along with his brother and CRJ alum Bryan '20 (who also received the OPUS scholarship). This scholarship will cover full-tuition and full-room and board to study engineering for the next 4 years. Congratulations Adrian!

MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN PROGRAM ACCEPTS CRJ ALUMNA

CRJ alumna Yesenia Gomez '20 is one of just 13 college students who will be spending her summer doing research at the Medical College of Wisconsin through the ASPIRE program. Through this effort, Yesenia will continue to develop lab-based research skills as she works towards becoming a physician.


Yesenia’s dream of becoming a physician started when she was 7 years old. “My grandfather lived with us at the time, and I was in charge of helping to take his blood sugar levels. I liked to pretend that I was a doctor every morning while I was helping him.” During high school, she worked with ProHealth Care and St. Camillus through the CWSP program, and it confirmed her belief that a medical career was what she wanted to pursue. Yesenia took the AP Research class during her senior year, and she chose to research the impact of race and geography had on one’s availability to medical care. This project revealed a need that she now wants to address professionally. “I want to be a family physician in low-income communities so that I can provide quality care to families that aren’t getting it.”


Yesenia recently returned to Cristo Rey Jesuit and spoke to the current AP Research class about how impactful the course has been for her. She credits the skills and experience gained from Mr. Nash's AP Research course in helping her land a spot in the ASPIRE program. Congratulations Yesenia on being accepted into the ASPIRE program, and thank you for taking time to inspire our students.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: ADRIAN MORA '19

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 Adrian Mora. Adrian is attending Marquette University and already has a job secured at Baird upon graduation. Discover how this Trailblazer is prepared for success in college and life.

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