Wednesday, 02 October 2019 14:21

Cristo Rey Network awards $138,000 in grant funding to CRBR

The Cristo Rey Network announced Cristo Rey Baton Rouge Franciscan High School as recipients of three grant awards for the 2019-2020 school year focused on retaining students, creating opportunities for increased enrollment and supporting our alumni advisor position. 

Cristo Rey Baton Rouge begins the 2019-2020 school year with 174 students in grades 9-12.  In May, the Class of 2020 will be the first graduating class in the history of the school.  Students will earn over $1.2 million toward their tuition this school year with the support and partnership of 48 Corporate Work Study Partners (CWSP) and 5 CWSP sponsors throughout the greater Baton Rouge area.


Each grant award is described below:

College Success Fund

The Kenneth Hutchinson College Success Fund supports increased college counseling and alumni advisor personnel through new, full time positions.  At Cristo Rey Baton Rouge, our first alumni counselor position will be funded as we prepare for our first graduating class in May of 2020.  Since 2016, the Fund has increased new personnel at 25 of 37 Cristo Rey schools that serve 13,000 students this school year with more than 7,000 graduates currently enrolled in college. Through a renewed, lead investment by the Wilson Sheehan Foundation in the movement's college initiatives program, coupled with additional generous gifts, the Fund will help sustain the Network's momentum towards Cristo Rey graduates achieving a bachelor's degree at the same rate as young people from families in the highest income quartile.

New Seats Grant

The Cristo Rey Network New Seats Fund is part of a $1.25 million investment by the Howley Foundation to support school-specific projects with seed money to achieve target full enrollment goals.  Eight Cristo Rey schools, including Baton Rouge, were awarded to address either the admissions or Corporate Work Study Program limitations that most significantly inhibit reaching full enrollment. Grantees will participate in respective Best Practice Working Groups that will be comprised of quarterly calls led by the Cristo Rey Network national office.

Student Retention Fund Grant

The Cristo Rey Network Student Retention Fund, also funded by the Howley Foundation, equips schools with the financial resources to develop and implement a data-driven, strategic, and intentional approach to the challenge of attrition.  With this funding, Cristo Rey Baton Rouge has utilized a Student Success Coordinator to implement a data-driven, analytics-based early intervention student success plan designed to provide support to students and families from day one at Cristo Rey.

About The Howley Foundation: Nick and Lorie Howley formed the Howley Foundation in 2001, with the intent of helping students, all students, regardless of economic means, receive the best education possible. The Howleys firmly believe that education is one of the most important catalysts to promoting positive change in individuals and society as a whole.

Starting with one student scholarship in a local Cleveland Catholic high school, they have grown the foundation and the Howley Scholars Program to provide meaningful tuition assistance to over 600 scholarship students in two major cities (Cleveland and Philadelphia) and college students around the United States. Historically tuition assistance by HF has been provided primarily for high schools. However, in recent years it has been expanded to include scholarship support and selected program assistance at three major levels of education.

About the Wilson Sheehan Foundation: Started by Chris and Lorraine (Sheehan) Wilson in 2012, the Wilson Sheehan Foundation exists to help advance lasting, positive change in the world. With the belief that strong families build strong communities, the Foundation's goal is to empower women and children to achieve their full potential.

About Kenneth Hutchinson (1981-2017): Ken Hutchinson was a highly committed national voice on college access, specializing in strengthening admission to college for underrepresented young people. Ken joined the Network in September 2015 as the Director of College Initiatives. The loss to Ken's family, to the important work he led, and to the entire Cristo Rey family is immeasurable. The legacy of Ken's accomplishments and his gift of self to his family will remain with the Cristo Rey Network and all those who knew and loved him.

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