Don Bosco Cristo Rey, a school that really works.
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Moving south to DC, a divine connection emerged with Don Bosco, a high school in the Archdiocese of Washington, that is part of the Cristo Rey Network of 30 schools located across the world. The Corporate Work Study Program was particularly intriguing, and – after further investigation – inspiring for anyone thinking about increasing access to inclusive and equitable quality education.
CORPORATE WORK STUDY PROGRAM (CWSP)
CWSP enables students to work one day a week – an age appropriate balanced approach to education that provides invaluable work experience. Corporates subside school fees in return, and students, who would otherwise be unable to afford the level of education offered by Don Bosco, receive excellent education. Students ‘earning’ their fees, effectively makes the school sustainable.
It was a privilege to meet 18-year-old Abigail, on her way to work – and later at school – to hear more about the Corporate Work Study Program.
During the last four years she has been working a day a week at the local hospital. Initially this involved admin – which enabled her to develop appropriate skills for the workplace – but more recently she has been able to observe operations, which is an amazing opportunity for someone who later this year will graduate from high school and go to university to begin her studies to be a doctor. Don Bosco Cristo Rey offers Abigail, and her peers, an incredibly supportive environment where they can develop knowledge, understanding and skills for life.
Excellent education is achieved through Don Bosco’s caring, committed, hard-working and respectful staff, who support and work alongside students who are highly motivated and show a real desire to fulfil their potential.
Cristo Rey’s innovative approach to affordable education – where students study and work, not only enables hundreds of young people from soci0-economically disadvantaged backgrounds to benefit from an excellent education, but offers young people incredible opportunities to develop skills necessary for the work-place.
Further exploration and understanding of inspiring initiatives like the Corporate Work Study Program will be required to discern how it – or similar models – might provide affordable and excellent education in Durban.