SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Michael Derrick is the Principal of Cristo Rey High School in South Crest. A private school that’s partnered with the Diocese of San Diego.
It’s one of 26 schools across the country, that offers students that can’t afford to pay private school tuition financial support.
To qualify to attend the school, Derrick says you have to be 300 percent or below the federal poverty rate. He adds, “We also tell families we’ll work with you, we’re never going to turn away a family for the inability to pay.”
Cristo Rey operates using a unique innovative work model. Derrick adds, “Every student at Cristo Rey works at a corporate job, five days out of the month. We have a longer school day and a longer school year to account for the work.”
This also help pay for student tuition, combined with donations, and a contribution from the family based on a sliding scale.
Cristo Rey just opened its doors last summer, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Derrick adds, “It was already incredibly difficult to open a new school, and it added another layer of complexity and it made us more resilient.”
Their inaugural freshman class as a total of 45 students. Alexa Jasso is one of them. Her work study is at Rady Children’s Hospital. Jasso says, “I usually take some shifts in the front office and answer phones.”
She believes Cristo Rey provides opportunities that will help her reach her goals of getting into a good college, and eventually become a Nurse. Jasso adds, “ the school not only focuses on our academics and prepares us to go to college. But, I feel like it has all of the things necessary for us to have a great future.”
Dreams, Derrick says Cristo Rey is committed to help make happen.
If you’re interested in donating or if you want information on the enrollment process click here. They are accepting applications for incoming 9th and 10th graders.