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For the fourth-year in a row, all Cristo Rey’s seniors accepted by four-year universities

Posted by Patrick Rosso  May 2, 2013 11:20 AM

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(Image courtesy Cristo Rey High School)

(From left to right) The school’s top six students -- Chrismelin Jimenez - Northeastern University, Alex Bonano - Holy Cross, Julianna Quiroz - Skidmore College, Andrei Bonano - Georgetown University, Misa Nguyen - Emmanuel College, Rebecca Rojas - Georgetown University.

For the fourth year in a row, all seniors at Cristo Rey High School on Savin Hill have been accepted by four-year universities.

Students, families, and faculty celebrated the achievement Wednesday night with the “Sign and Thrive” event, were the school’s top six students announced their college choices, much like student athletes do when they attend major athletic universities.

“We want families and people in the community to know a ticket to a better future is working hard in academics,” said Jeff Thielman, president of the private school, which opened in the neighborhood in 2010. “Tonight we’re celebrating the achievements of our students and honoring our top scholars.”

Although the school pushes its students with rigorous academics, Thielman said it's the overall philosophy of the school and its work program that really motivates the students to achieve.

“We want to set high expectations for our students,” said Thielman. “We want them to become familiar with professionals and see that college isn’t this foreign thing.”

Through its work exchange program, which is part of a larger school network, students not only spend one day a week working outside the school in a professional setting with Boston companies, but actually offset the cost of their tuition to the school through the program.

Matching students up with real-world professionals and work, Thielman believes that what eventually comes out is a much more well-rounded student.

“With the program they’re able to see successful people every day and interact with them,” said Thielman. “They begin to understand the practical application of education and that experience motivates them to continue on in their education.”

During Thursday’s ceremonies family and friends cheered on the students, the majority of which are people of color, as they selected their schools.

Of the top six students Chrismelin Jimenez will attend Northeastern University, Alex Bonano will attend Holy Cross, Julianna Quiroz will attend Skidmore College, Andrei Bonano will attend Georgetown University, Misa Nguyen will attend Emmanuel College, and Rebecca Rojas will attend Georgetown University.

Email Patrick D. Rosso, Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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