DBCR is part of the nationwide Cristo Rey Network of high schools that accept low-income, mostly minority students whose families cannot afford a Catholic high school tuition and who are at high risk of not being able to be accepted into university after high school. The Cristo Rey program collaborates with local corporations, universities, government agencies, and other businesses to provide jobs and related training for the students; these jobs pay most of their tuition and give the students invaluable work and life experience. The work and academic programs of Cristo Rey schools are very demanding of both students and their families, but the schools have proven highly successful in the 22 years since the first school was founded. The Salesians in the United States sponsor two of the Network’s 35 schools.
DBCR is welcoming 123 freshmen and 4 transferring sophomores this summer: 69 girls, 58 boys.
The orientation program, absolutely required of all incoming students, teaches the newcomers what is expected of a DBCR student academically and behaviorally while they learn effective habits to be successful in the classroom, the workplace, and life.
Students learn the importance of coming to school or work on time, how to use the Washington area’s metro system, how to dress professionally, how to greet people, how to answer the telephone, how to file, keyboarding and use of computers, DBCR’s basic rules of conduct, and much more.
For example, on August 6 they spent most of their day with Ray Green, an executive at Chick-Fil-A who is contracted by the U.S. Department of Labor (one of DBCR’s corporate work sponsors for many years) to instruct students about workplace issues such as safety, hygiene, sexual harassment, responsible use of computers and phones, etc.
Bridge for Success is coordinated by interim principal Elias Blanco, Corporate Work Study director Ana Chapa, and Raquel Rodriguez. Numerous other faculty, staff, alumni, and current students lead or assist with various aspects of the program.