Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham, Alabama, combines academic rigor and a corporate work-study program to empower students from economically challenged communities to graduate high school prepared to persist in college and flourish in life.
A Member of the Cristo Rey Network
Holy Family High School was founded in the Ensley neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama, by the Congregation of the Passion in 1943, and faithfully served the community for more than 60 years. In 2007, Holy Family High School joined the Cristo Rey Network and became Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School. But what does it mean that we are a Cristo Rey school?
The Cristo Rey model is an innovative combination of rigorous academics and real-world corporate work experience which provides students from economically challenged families the tools needed to persist in college, flourish in life, and break the generational cycle of poverty. The first Cristo Rey school--Cristo Rey Jesuit High School--in Chicago, IL opened in 1996 under the leadership of John P. Foley, S.J. The success achieved there inspired educational leaders across the country to apply the model in other cities, and within five years other Cristo Rey schools began to open across the United States.
Today, the Cristo Rey Network is the only network of high schools in the country that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through the Corporate Work Study Program. Comprised of 38 Catholic, college- and career-preparatory schools that today serve 12,000 students across 25 states and collectively claim more than 18,000 graduates, the Cristo Rey Network delivers a powerful and innovative approach to inner-city education that equips students from families of limited economic means with the knowledge, character, and skills to transform their lives.
Cristo Rey in the News
- Education Week, "The High School Network Providing Students With On-The-Job Training" (10/28/21)
- America Magazine, "Cristo Rey students taught me how to find consolation—even in a crisis" (8/19/20)
- National Catholic Register, "COVID's Effect on Catholic Schools: As Some Close, Others Innovate" (7/7/20)
- AL.com, "How a Vanderbilt-bound senior would change Birmingham" (5/6/20)
- Alabama News Center, "Holy Family HS senior awarded prestigious $300,000 scholarship" (1/5/20)