Chicago Mayor Shows Support for City’s Cristo Rey Schools
Tags: Christ the King College Prep, Cristo Rey Network, Jesuit, Jesuit Father Chris Devron, jesuits, Society of Jesus
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is a big supporter of his city’s two Jesuit Cristo Rey Network schools, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School and Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory School. He recently took part in an event at Loyola University Chicago with the goal of creating 30 jobs for the schools’ corporate work-study programs for students. At Cristo Rey schools, students work part-time, and their salaries help pay tuition.
“If you’re serious about education and that it can open doors, you’ll do this. You’re not leaving until you do,” Emanuel told those gathered, which included some of the biggest names in Chicago business. Emanuel also announced that he had added another work-study job to the one already in his office.
Jesuit Father Chris Devron, president of Christ the King, says the event brought commitments for 28 jobs. Four students share each full-time, entry-level position, and they work one day a week.
“The mayor might be disappointed we didn’t meet the 30 goal, but we still might get two more,” says Fr. Devron, who became friends with Emanuel when he was running for mayor.
Fr. Devron wanted Emanuel to see his school’s work-study program, and Emanuel visited Christ the King on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2011.
“He [the mayor] says, ‘I’m assuming all these kids are Catholic.’ And I say, ‘only 10 percent,’” Fr. Devron recalls. “You could see the light bulb go on in the mayor’s head because he saw the commitment went beyond religion.”
Emanuel promised his support that day.
“I don’t care if it’s a magnet school, baccalaureate school, military, charter, parochial,” Emanuel said in an interview after the job-raising event. “I want educational excellence, and I’ll look at anything.”
Of the work-study program, the mayor says it shows “that regardless of backgrounds of kids, you can succeed educationally.” [Crain’s Chicago Business]
Below is a recent ABC Chicago segment on Christ the King students sharing a Chicago City Hall job.