Cristo Rey Jesuit High School/Colin Powell Center Breaks Ground
Public-private partnership will boost graduation rates and post-secondary success for Minneapolis ’ inner-urban high school students
WHAT: Urban Ventures, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), and Ryan Companies are breaking ground on a pioneering development in South Minneapolis on May 23 – a unique facility designed to educate Minneapolis’ most promising inner-urban students, promote community health and provide youth programming. When it is completed in 2007, the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Colin Powell Center will serve 500 students and 25,000 neighborhood children and parents, providing a foundation for each child to build their own successful future.
Urban Ventures and Ryan are joined in this effort by more than 20 businesses committed to hiring Cristo Rey students – part of every student’s curriculum at the co-ed private school. The Cristo Rey High School is unique because this private school will serve inner-urban families with lower or limited incomes that can’t afford private school tuition.
In addition to taking college-preparatory classes at school, these students also learn what it takes to succeed in corporate America , and then put those lessons to work one day a week. Their earnings will pay for three-quarters of the cost of instruction, while the students build impressive resumes.
• This Jesuit school is being established in strategic partnership with Urban Ventures, a local community development agency with a proven track record of addressing social and economic struggles of inner-urban families. Urban Ventures is pairing the school with its Colin Powell Center , providing services and support to help local teenagers graduate from high school and pursue a college education.
• The Colin Powell Center, open to children and families throughout the neighborhood, complements the Cristo Rey model with educational, career, and character-building programs designed to help youth graduate from high school and go on to some form of post-secondary education.
• Tuition is kept affordable at Cristo Rey through a combination of work-study and community philanthropy. Approximately 75% of a student’s tuition is paid by local corporations who hire students to work at their offices. Families pay 15%-20% of the cost while the remaining 5%-10% is paid through broader community fundraising.
• In addition to taking college-preparatory classes, students are also drilled in how to function in a corporate setting, skills that serve them well as they work in the corporate offices of local businesses who have committed to provide at least one full-time job for students from the school.
• The Cristo Rey model has a proven track record of success. The 2005 graduation rate in the Cristo Rey Network schools was 98%, with 95% of those students enrolling in a 2 or 4 year college program.
• There are currently 10 Cristo Rey schools open in the country, located in Massachusetts, Illinois, Ohio, Colorado, California, New York, Oregon, and Arizona. Three more schools are scheduled to open in 2006, in Missouri , Indiana and California . The Twin Cities Jesuit High School will be one of five additional schools to open in 2007.
• Urban Ventures CEO Art Erickson, Ryan Companies CEO Jim Ryan, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School president Rev. David Haschka, S.J., and Best Buy CFO Darren Jackson breaking ground on the new project.
• Local government, community and business leaders sharing their thoughts on the positive impact this school model will have on Minneapolis ’ future. Confirmed speakers include: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Darren Jackson, Art Erickson, Jim Ryan, Ryan Companies President Pat Ryan, Rev. David Haschka, Urban Ventures director of Hispanic outreach Susana Espinosa de Sygulla, and West Phillips community member Muriel Simmons
4 p.m., Tuesday, May 23
Intersection of East 29th Street and Fourth Ave South
Kristin Heinmets, Padilla Speer Beardsley
612-455-1749 (office) / 651-335-1897 (mobile)