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Cristo Rey Jesuit High School inaugurates its first school year

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School celebrated the start of its first school year with a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday (Sept. 9) in West Milwaukee. It’s the first school of its kind in Wisconsin, which combines work and school as part of its curriculum.

 \"It's pretty exciting,” said Joshua Ruiz, freshman. “It's a new experience. It's a new school. It's going to offer a lot more chances.\"

Ruiz works at an IT Department. “This is a big step for me since I'm working with professionals.\"

Cristo Rey partners with more than 20 companies by placing each student in a job. Companies include The Children’s Hospital, U.S. Bank and Johnson Controls.

\"We're thrilled with our participation with Cristo Rey, Milwaukee's newest high school, which represents a tremendous opportunity for our community,\" said Grady Crosby, with Johnson Controls. 

Students work entry-level positions, five full work days once a month and the company gives the paycheck to the Corporate Work Study Program. 

Paul Eberle, Board Chair for Cristo Rey, said the work program goes beyond just a job.  

\"We need critical thinkers, problems solvers and young men and women willing to do more than just chase the paycheck, more than just chase a job but make a real difference in the world,\" Eberle said. 

Joshua’s mom, Luz Herrera, said the school is a right fit for her son.

\"I think it's a learning experience for these students and it's going to help them out whether it’s in college or their first job.\"

Cristo Rey is a catholic school with longer school days and year. The school is starting with 129 freshman students and it plans to add a grade for the next three years. The school’s capacity is 400 students. Every student is expected to attend college. 

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