1064 N. St. Augustine Drive, Dallas TX 75217
Founded in Chicago in 2001 by Father John P. Foley, S.J., the Cristo Rey network is the largest network of high schools in the US whose enrollment is limited to low-income youth. Cristo Rey employs an innovative business model, wherein students work five days each month in entry-level jobs at local professional companies, with the fee for their work being directed to underwrite tuition costs. Operating on a franchise system, each Cristo Rey school is a partnership between a local operator with an established track record, and the proven Cristo Rey 9-12 programming that is based on rigorous academics, four years of professional work experience, and Catholic moral values, employed in a high-expectations environment. Students’ tuition is subsidized by the same work study program that prepares them for college, as well as putting them in good position to succeed in their first job.
Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep (“CRDCP”), the 30th Cristo Rey school nationwide, welcomed its inaugural 126-member freshman class in September, 2015, operating out of the St. Augustine Drive site in Pleasant Grove, under a lease with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The current class is 94% Hispanic, 70% come from the failing DISD public school system, 70% report knowing no one either in their family or neighborhood who attended college, and the average 5-member family household income of the student body is around $35,000.
CRDCP employs the same Corporate Work Study Program found in all Cristo Rey schools. The program is an innovative model of education that gives students a Catholic, college-preparatory education while earning work experience in a corporate setting. Four students rotate through the week to fill the position full-time. Each student has an assigned day on which he or she works. On Friday, the four students rotate to share the fifth day of the week. In each four-week span, each student will have one week in which he or she works two days. Student schedules are created so that students never miss a class.
Students are employees of the Corporate Work Study Program, not the job sponsors. Sponsors pay a flat fee to the Corporate Work Study Program for one full-time Corporate Work Study Team. The Corporate Work Study Program handles all payroll, W-4, I-9, Worker’s Compensation, FICA and FUTA paperwork, as well as all routine employer issues. The Corporate Work Study Program is separately incorporated, functioning as an employment agency within Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep.
CRDCP’s Corporate Work Study program partners include a broad spectrum of Dallas’ biggest regional, national and international companies, operating in a variety of industries, such as commercial real estate, accounting, law, energy exploration/oilfield services, non-profits, and consumer products.
The project site is located within a USDA-designated Food Desert, and Cristo Rey Dallas provides students with meals through the National School Lunch Program and have school-wide physical recreation time on Friday mornings to encourage healthy habits.
With the main academic building completed as a result of the first NMTC closing in December, 2016, the administration has turned its focus to the rest of the campus – specifically the 32,000 sf Innovation Center, housing the dining hall and technology and resource centers, as well as an administrative building, Corporate Work Study Program headquarters, an arts and music center, a gymnasium, a sports field and parking.
In September, 2019, Crescent Growth Capital helped facilitate a $16,500,000 NMTC financing to fund the school’s Phase 2 campus development plan. By leveraging NMTC allocation provided by Dallas Development Fund, Raza Development Fund, and top off allocation as well as NMTC investment from Capital One, the financing could deliver up to $3M in net benefit to the school.