Saint Joseph’s University Partners with Cristo Rey Network

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 15, 2012) – Saint Joseph’s University has announced a partnership with the Cristo Rey Network in support of its mission to ensure that all graduates of Cristo Rey Network schools have access to the academic, social and financial supports they need to complete a college degree.

“This partnership further strengthens our relationship with the Cristo Rey Network of schools and underscores our shared commitment to provide opportunity and access to a high quality college experience for their graduates,” says Maureen Mathis, executive director of undergraduate admissions and marketing at SJU.

Founded in 2001, the Cristo Rey Network is comprised of 24 high schools that provide a quality, Catholic college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited education options. All students participate in a corporate work-study program, going to school four days a week and gaining real-world job experience through an internship on the fifth day.

SJU freshman Osmar Dawson grew up in the Bronx and attended the Cristo Rey high school in the Spanish Harlem section of New York. Through his internships, he worked at financial services and law firms.  Now, he’s planning to double major in actuarial science and Spanish at Saint Joseph’s and seek a career in the insurance field after graduation.

“My Cristo Rey school really prepared me for the college experience,” Dawson says. “I have big plans for my future.  I want to be able to give back to my family someday and help others as much as I can.”

He is already well on his way down that path.  On Wednesdays, after classes and his job in Saint Joseph’s admissions office, Dawson heads to a nearby Police Athletic League center where he coaches high schoolers in dodgeball, kickball, and football, and helps them with their homework.

“Through our enhanced partnership with the Cristo Rey Network, we look forward to helping more students like Osmar have access to a successful future,” Mathis notes.

Media Contact

 Harriet K. Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications, 610-660-1532,

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