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Enrollment for low-income, private high school opens at Cristo Rey

Students get to work while they study
Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 27, 2017

Cristo Rey Tampa High School at Mary Help of Christians Center is getting ready to enroll freshman students for their second school year.

The Catholic high school will be part of the Cristo Rey Network, a national association of high schools founded in Chicago in 1996.

The school offers an affordable college preparatory education for kids from lower income families in Tampa.

According to their "who we are" section, the school is based off an innovative program through a corporate work-study program that allows students to pay for a portion of their education through real-work experience.

Students will work five days each month in entry-level positions that they are assigned in the local community. The kids receive rides to and from work each shift.

"Here we have 14-year-old students, who have been cleared by the Department of Labor to go to work, in an education assistance program through the corporate work study program, who are actually providing for their own education," said Cristo Rey Tampa High School President, Charles Imbergamo, in June.

Students go through a pre-screening process to understand their goals and interests in hopes of placing students in fields they desire.

Cristo Rey has almost two dozen local businesses who are supporting the program, including Amalie Arena, BST Global, Coca-Cola Company, TECO Energy and the Columbia Restaurant.

Lorenzo Maza-Navarro, 15, goes weekly to his corporate partner, BST Global, a local software company with locations around the world.

The school boasts a 100 percent college acceptance with a 90 percent college enrollment.

To qualify, you must meet certain income guidelines, as well as certain grade averages and good discipline and attendance records.

Along with adding more students, the high school is looking for more business partners to help give students work-related experiences.

You can contact the school at 813-621-8300 or here.