Katie Wegman ‘18
For the church institution project my group (Grace Garbsch and Hannah Vaive) went to DePaul Cristo Rey High School (DPCR). DePaul Cristo Rey is a school for low income students who want a private Catholic education.
DePaul Cristo Rey opened in 2011 thanks to the Sisters of Charity. It is named after St. Vincent DePaul, the patron of charitable donations.
The school is in a building that used to be a Lutheran church and school. DPCR has turned the room that was the church into a library media center and it still has beautiful stained glass windows in the walls. There are also two other smaller buildings for science and math.
To make the school affordable, the students work one day a week, earning about $7,000 over the course of the year to offset tuition costs. The work study program also builds a strong resume because the students work at over 100 large, well known companies.
Students work at one job the whole year and are evaluated on their work by supervisors and receive a grade. Juniors and seniors have some say in where they work if it is in the field that they want to enter for a career. The work study program builds many social skills the students will need after college and creates a strong resume and strong contacts within large businesses.
All of the teachers that my group met, one was a Mercy grad, were very nice people. Just by talking to them, we could tell they had a passion for what they were doing. In our interview with the principal, he told us that being a teacher at DPCR is a lot more than being a teacher, it’s more of a vocation.
The school is a place of safety for students who deal with problems of poverty and violence. Many students come from parents who never received more than a high school diploma, if that. The teachers help the students overcome their struggles and break out of the cycle of poverty.
By visiting DPCR I am reminded of the huge blessing that attending Catholic school is. DPCR is doing amazing things for young people in Cincinnati.