Students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School have a lot more to look forward to than being the inaugural class at the new Milwaukee high school.
As is tradition at all Cristo Rey high schools across the country, the school partnered with local businesses so that students can work at the company one day per week during the school year.
“This is a demonstration of what our city can do, what our corporate community can do with education and parents and what everyone can do when they come together,” said Andrew Stith, president of Cristo Rey. “People love that this is a proven model, it was financially sustainable and it addressed a real educational need in Milwaukee.”
On Friday, the students were told which companies they were going to be working with this year. The event at the school, 1215 S 45th St, West Milwaukee, ran in the theme of a sports draft where students were selected – prior to the event – and when their name was called, the student went on stage and received something from their future employer.
Dale Smith, executive vice president of U.S. Bank in Milwaukee, started at the bank 27 years ago after he graduated high school. Smith is proud to have high school students working with his team at U.S. Bank.
“These students are so bright and so enthusiastic and they have so much potential and this is our opportunity to give back to them,” Smith said. “I am very proud to be here and very proud to be able to give back to the community and empower the next generation.”
A total of 22 Milwaukee-area companies and businesses are part of the program. Representatives from each company were on hand to welcome their “draftees.” Companies gave their new employees gifts ranging from a T-shirts and football jerseys to hats and gift bags.
“We’re looking to welcome more companies into the fold, and in the future we’re going to need more corporate partners and this is a great group to start with,” Stith said. ““Our community needs this and wants this and it has really caught fire.”
Cristo Rey begins its inaugural school year Aug. 17.