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Cristo Rey Howley Scholarship Program Supports Cristo Rey Graduates To and Through College

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Chicago, Ill. – February 3, 2016 – The Cristo Rey Network is pleased to announce the Cristo Rey Howley Scholarship Program, a collaboration with The Howley Family Foundation to award approximately $1 million of supplemental four-year grants to Cristo Rey high school graduates to help ensure that they have the necessary financial resources to graduate from college, prepared for meaningful employment.

Currently in its pilot phase, the Scholarship Program has awarded scholarships to seven 2015 graduates from four participating Cristo Rey schools: Detroit Cristo Rey High School, St. Martin de Porres High School (Cleveland), Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep (Waukegan), and Christ the King Jesuit Preparatory School (Chicago). The Howley Family Foundation will expand the scholarship this spring to include members of the inaugural graduating class of Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School. The alumni advisor at each participating Cristo Rey high school provides all of its graduates, including Howley Scholars, with ongoing support as they navigate college.

Meg Mitkus, Director of the Howley Family Foundation stated, “We have been long term supporters of the Cristo Rey schools and Network. We believe Cristo Rey is the only network of its size in the country focused exclusively on providing a high quality college prep education combined with value and character development to those most in need. We are proud to expand our support through this new program.”
The Cristo Rey Network and The Howley Family Foundation together seek to counteract the predictive power that a family’s economic status currently holds over the educational trajectory of our youth. As the national office expands its programming for Network schools, it hopes to help the schools strengthen their college going cultures and expand their support for graduates during their post-secondary education. The Network is focused on achieving a 70% six-year college completion rate—comparable to expected graduation rates for children of high-income families—for Cristo Rey’s Class of 2020.

“The Howley Family Foundation has long and generously supported students from economically-disadvantaged families in Philadelphia and Cleveland in their determination to change the trajectories of their lives through education,” remarked Cristo Rey Network President and CEO Jane E. Genster. “St. Martin de Porres High School in Cleveland, and the Cristo Rey Network, have in addition both benefited enormously from Nick Howley’s service on their boards of directors. This new initiative of the Howley Family Foundation—which helps to ensure that promising students are not side-lined by a gap in college funding—will be a critical component of college persistence and completion for dozens of Cristo Rey graduates in the years to come.”

Administered by the Cristo Rey Network national office, the Program accepts applications from students who have been granted admission and intend to enroll in a college or university that is a University Partner of the Cristo Rey Network. Applicants are required to submit an essay that describes their post-secondary and career objectives, recommendations from their high school principal or president and from a mentor, transcripts, and ACT scores. The evaluative process seeks to assess demonstrated perseverance in the face of adversity, college readiness, educational objectives, maturity, and problem solving abilities.

The Howley Family Foundation joins The Wilson Sheehan Foundation, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Caster Family Trust as partners of the Cristo Rey Network College Initiatives Program.

About the Cristo Rey Network®:
The Cristo Rey Network is the largest network of high schools in the country focused exclusively on the education of students from low-income families. Comprised of 30 Catholic, college preparatory schools serving 9,953 students across 19 states and DC, the Cristo Rey Network delivers a distinctive approach to inner-city education that equip students with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives. From freshman year, Cristo Rey schools blend rigorous academics, four years of professional work experience through the Corporate Work Study Program, Catholic educational values, and support for students to and through college. The impact is clear: Cristo Rey graduates currently enroll and graduate from college at more than twice the rate as their low-income high school graduate peers.

About The Howley Family Foundation:
Started by Nick and Lorie Howley in 2003, The Howley Family Foundation was founded to award academic scholarships and provide tuition assistance to students as well as to support educational organizations. In addition to supporting the Cristo Rey Network and other schools, The Foundation currently assists more than 400 elementary and high school students in Cleveland and Philadelphia. They primarily provide four-year high school scholarships and elementary school scholarships for underprivileged students. They have recently begun to add College and University Scholarships. Believing that a strong education is essential to becoming a productive and independent adult, the Howley family developed their Foundation to respond to the needs of underserved students in search of a strong education.