Persistent, generational poverty continues to plague Greater Cincinnati; the city is ranked among those with the highest childhood poverty rates in the country. Quality education with access to better opportunities and a focus on college can move children out of this cycle, and that underlies the mission of DePaul Cristo Rey High School.

DePaul Cristo Rey, located in Clifton, serves only low-income students through the nationally recognized Cristo Rey education model. This powerful and innovative approach to education pairs rigorous academics with a Corporate Work Study Program. In a faith-based environment, all students attend college-preparatory classes while working five days a month in office, health care or education settings around the city. The school has 130-plus Corporate Partners across all industries including finance, architecture and law. The students’ earnings help to pay part of their own education costs while exposing them to careers and mentors as they develop their professional skills. At work the focus is on their transformation into young professionals; at school the focus is on their transformation into college-ready graduates.

In just six years since the school opened in 2011, the results are turning heads. 100 percent of the first three graduating classes have achieved college acceptance, test data shows an increase in academic proficiency, a college success program is tracking and supporting alumni, and Ohio Governor Kasich recognized the school in January with an Innovation in Education Award.

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