In mid-June, Cristo Rey Jesuit (CRJ) High School welcomed the Class of 2021 to its four-week Summer Bridge Program. As new freshmen, 120 students arrived with expected first-day jitters. These 69 young women and 51 young men came to CRJ from Catholic, private, public, and charter schools across Greater Milwaukee, and will grow CRJ’s freshmen through junior student population to approximately 330 students.
Focused on business training, freshmen will:
- be work ready,
- learn tangible office skills,
- gain confidence in professional interactions and their ability to contribute in the workplace,
- glimpse future possibilities,
- explore career options to eventually build an impressive resume based on four years of experience in the corporate world, and
- become open to the CWSP experience and familiar with the support structure available to them at CRJ and at their workplace.
To complement classroom instruction and learning, students took field trips around Milwaukee, including a visit to ManpowerGroup to develop their personal brand, Marquette University for a campus tour, and various businesses downtown to build comfort and familiarity with the corporate setting, landmarks, buildings, streets, and people. Additionally students strengthened their communication and first impression techniques through professional networking. An academic boost was built into Summer Bridge as well, focusing on math and English to prepare students for a college-prep curriculum.
Alongside the rising sophomores and juniors, members of the Class of 2021 will be placed at approximately 60 corporate work partners, reputable employees in the Milwaukee community. Every student will work five days per month throughout the school year and gain real job experience while earning their education at CRJ.
Members of the class of 2021 were asked about their Cristo Rey Jesuit experience:
- Why did you choose Cristo Rey Jesuit High School?
“I felt like it was the perfect fit because of how the staff expects students to behave. The CWSP is unique and will teach me early on how to get a job. Also, CRJ is a small school, so I can have a 1-on-1 relationship with my teachers. I’m excited to make new friends and join the basketball team!” –Angel
- What have you learned so far through the Summer Bridge Program?
“I’ve learned that no matter what you do, you always have to have a positive attitude, give it your all, and if you put 110% effort in, you will be successful. If you find roadblocks along the way, remember that everyone has highs and lows. Without the lows you would never spiritually or mentally grow, so persevere, push through, and you will reach your finish line.” –Ethan
- What are you most excited about as a high school student at Cristo Rey Jesuit?
“I am looking forward to starting this year off fresh. I learned from my middle school experience what to do and what not to do. Now I just want the school year to get started! I feel very anxious and happy to be a trailblazer at CRJ, and to be a member of the class of 2021!”