Catholic High School in Takoma Park Celebrates Expansion and First Senior Class

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This is a big year for Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Maryland ,which is celebrating a building expansion and its first senior class. On September 7, Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will join the school community for a Mass, blessing and ribbon-cutting. The innovative, 4-year-old school is providing 280 low-income students from the DC metro area with a Catholic college prep education through an innovative Corporate Work Study Program.

This is a big year for Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School. Not only will the school, which uses an innovative corporate work-study program to make tuition affordable for low-income students, graduate its first senior class next June, but on September 7, a ribbon cutting will mark the first phase of a major building expansion:

Tuesday, September 7
8:00 a.m. Mass
9:15 a.m. Ribbon cutting
Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School
1010 Larch Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912
(one block off New Hampshire Avenue)

After Mass, Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl will join the school’s president and principal, Reverend Steve Shafran, S.D.B. and Reverend John Serio, S.D.B., the Superintendent of Catholic Schools Bert L’Homme, PhD, and faculty, students and friends for a series of four ribbon cuttings – each in different part of the expansion with representatives from the different grades. Archbishop Wuerl also will bless the new space, which includes a new entrance, administrative offices, library and technology center, classrooms, and guidance and counseling areas.

Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School was founded four years ago by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Salesians of Don Bosco to offer low income students in the DC area an affordable college preparatory Catholic education. All students participate in the Corporate Work Study Program, gaining professional work experience and earning money to offset a significant portion of their tuition. Participating companies include Akridge, B.F. Saul, Children’s Hospital, Deloitte, Impact Office Products, Jones Day, Lockheed Martin and others.

The median family income for the school’s 280 students is under $35,000. Just over half of the students are Hispanic; 45 percent are Black; and the remainder, Asian or multi-racial. They come from a broad region: 46 percent are from Prince George’s County, 40 percent are from the District of Columbia, and 13 percent are from Montgomery County. Families pay $2,500 in tuition each year, with the rest of the cost covered by the Corporate Work Study Program and donors.

“Don Bosco Cristo Rey was begun four years ago as a new frontier bringing hope for a life filled with possibility for young people in need. This has been our mission from day one and for me it is particularly gratifying to see this new and vibrant Catholic school continue to grow and expand.” said Fr. Shafran, who is the school’s founding president.

Don Bosco Cristo Rey is part of the national Cristo Rey Network. Last year, there were 24 Cristo Rey schools nationwide preparing low-income students to enter college. The Archdiocese of Washington serves over 28,000 students in 98 schools in the District of Columbia and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.

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Susan Gibbs
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