School Spotlight: Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School

“From their very first day at Cristo Rey, our goal was to encourage and support these students, helping them grow and learn, with the ultimate goal of being accepted into college and achieving a bachelor’s degree,” said college counselor Jared Epler. 


Cristo Rey Philadelphia opened its doors to its first 9th grade class on August 13th, 2012. Cristo Rey schools offer a unique curriculum that combines academics, extracurricular activities and corporate work experience to prepare students for success in college and beyond.

This January, Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School announced that 100% of their first graduating senior class had been accepted into a four year college. Cristo Rey’s 86 seniors have earned 303 acceptances into 74 colleges and universities, and the acceptances continue to roll in. In addition to 303 college acceptance letters, many students received scholarships and financial aid. Senior Johnathan Ortiz was one of 106 students in the nation to be named a 2016 Horatio Alger National Scholar. The prestigious award is presented annually to high school students who have overcome adversity to pursue their dreams through higher education.

Now in its fourth year of operation, Cristo Rey Philadelphia currently enrolls 446 students in grades 9 through 12. Cristo Rey is geared toward young men and women who need economic assistance to achieve their full potential. It is a private, independent school operated by a unique partnership of businesses, universities and parents. Cristo Rey Philadelphia offers a rigorous curriculum for students of all faiths and is part of the Cristo Rey Network, which operates 30 schools nationwide.

Central to Cristo Rey’s success is the model’s Work-Study Program. The Work-Study Program is the cornerstone of a Cristo Rey education. Every student works one day each week at a leading Philadelphia-area business or organization in entry-level jobs, mentored by college-educated adults.  Local businesses and organizations hire students to do real work for real wages, which offsets the majority of the cost of each student’s education.Participating businesses and organizations include Comcast, CHOP, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, among others.

To learn more about Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, visit their website.