Oklahoma-Over 20 students participated last week in Cristo Rey Oklahoma City Catholic High School’s Summer Success Training program, a 3-day course designed to help rising high school freshman develop skills useful at school, work, college and in their personal lives. Although the school does not officially open until Fall of 2018, Cristo Rey OKC officials said they wanted to offer something this summer to students and families who had shown interest in the school.
For two days, students were joined by community and business leaders who served as guest lecturers on topics like appropriate use of social media, goal, setting, good study and work skills, and taking initiative. Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores VP of Human Resources Carl Martincich led a discussion on the importance of first impressions and a strong work ethic. Oklahoma State University officials delivered a presentation on the importance of continuing education beyond high school, while Governor Mary Fallin’s former communications director talked about developing speaking and writing skills. Students also participated in a workshop on financial literacy, practicing balancing a budget and eliminating unnecessary expenses. Cristo Rey OKC Board Chair Gene Rainbolt gave the closing remarks on the second day, telling students that education is the key to opportunities in life.
On the third day of the program, students left the classroom and headed to downtown Oklahoma City to participate in a “scavenger hunt” designed to familiarize them with the city’s business district and introduce them to office environments. Students visited the offices of the Oklahoman, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Inasmuch Foundation, the Federal Reserve, Oklahoma Natural Gas and BancFirst, where they met with staff, learned about the businesses and took pictures
The Success Training program focused on professional development and workplace skills because of Cristo Rey’s unique business and education model, said Cristo Rey OKC Principal Cody Yocom. All Cristo Rey students receive financial aid as part of a corporate work-study program funded by local businesses, where students work one day a week at the partner company for the entire year. The school caters exclusively to low-income children.
“A central part of the Cristo Rey model is the importance of real-world work experience,” said Yocom. “Placing these students in professional settings is not just part of our business and funding model. We believe the skills they acquire there, the mentoring they receive and the relationships they build help them to become well-balanced young adults. Success Training is about making sure these children – whether or not they attend Cristo Rey – have the skills they need to take advantage of their academic and professional opportunities.”