CRJ Receives Paul Purcell "Kids Win!" Baird Education Grant
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is honored and grateful to be an inaugural recipient of the Paul Purcell “Kids Win!" Annual Baird Educational Grant. The $100,000 grant award was established in 2020 as a tribute to former Baird Chairman Paul E. Purcell, who had a passion for ensuring all had access to a quality education and who passed away in February 2020. Purcell served on the boards of many educational organizations, including a long history with Cristo Rey schools. To ensure the organizations he served and guided were focused on what matters he often asked, “Do the kids win?” Paul always came back to this simple, yet very clear guiding principle.

This grant will support the development of a transformational, hands-on learning innovation space that will include a design lab, 3D printing and fabrication space, robotics (coding/circuitry) space and a media/podcasting production area. The space will help reduce educational inequalities with resources, tools, and inspiration, significantly enhance hundreds of urban students’ 21st century skill development and support a more skilled, inclusive, and diverse workforce for Milwaukee.

“This generous grant will allow us to continue to provide the innovative opportunities necessary for current and future students to become leaders in the Milwaukee area in the years to come,” said Cristo Rey Jesuit President Andrew Stith. Thank you to Baird for recognizing a Cristo Rey Jesuit education as an investment where "Kids Win!"
Fr. Thomas Bambrick celebrates his first Mass, held at CRJ's campus
I am always amazed at what comes from a tiny seed. In my backyard at home, we have a novice garden with some tomato, green pepper, rhubarb, basil, parsley, lettuce, and kale plants. We are still trying to balance busy family life with the care that a garden requires, so we consider ourselves successful when the small garden we have doesn't get eaten by little animals and actually bears edible fruit and vegetables!

Over the weekend, new Jesuits were ordained to the priesthood. This special event was extra special for our community because Thomas Bambrick, who taught here in our first three years as part of his training to be a Jesuit, was ordained a Jesuit, Catholic priest. Thomas celebrated his first Mass at our new campus with about 150 family, friends, Cristo Rey alumni and families, current and former Cristo Rey teachers, and fellow Jesuits, followed by a reception. During the Mass, Thomas talked about how Jesus told the parable of the mustard seed to help us understand the kingdom of God. The mustard seed starts out really small but when planted grows deep roots and large branches for birds to nest. As Thomas spoke, I couldn't help but think about this huge commitment he was making to become a priest. Undoubtedly, this was "seeded" by his family and close friends earlier in life in seemingly small ways that added up to this impressive celebration and commitment to God. 

At Cristo Rey Jesuit, we hope that we are planting seeds along the way in our students. Day to day these seeds may seem small or insignificant, but over time add up to help our students make a profound decision in their lives. As I was speaking with one of our alumni at Fr. Thomas' celebration, she reminded me of a time right after she graduated when we spoke. She remembered telling me how she was accepted to college but felt that college just wasn't for her. She smiled and recalled the look on my face when she shared this news with me and my insistence that we needed to talk further about this decision. At the conclusion of that conversation, she said she would give college a chance and, with the help of our college counselor, enrolled in college. When she came to the celebration this past weekend, she shared with me that she will be a junior next year at Marquette University and is finding great success.

This weekend really highlighted for me the sacred work of our mission and the great potential we have to "plant seeds" in our students' lives that, with the right care and attention, will empower them to root strongly, lead fulfilling lives, and do amazing things.
On June 4th, Cristo Rey Jesuit celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2021! If you haven't already, we invite you to watch the graduation ceremony here.
The newest CRJ graduates plan on continuing their education at the following colleges and universities:

  • Alverno College
  • Bryant & Stratton College
  • Cardinal Stritch University
  • Carroll University
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • Marquette University
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Mount Mary University
  • Ripon College
  • St. John's University
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
SAVE THE DATE: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 at 1818 W. National Ave.

You are invited to our official ribbon-cutting ceremony to welcome the CRJ community and celebrate at our campus in the Clarke Square Neighborhood. More details to come!
SAVE THE DATE: Milwaukee Stars Merengue is back!
Saturday, November 6th, 2021 at Potawatomi Hotel and Casino

Don't miss this opportunity to see Milwaukee celebrities take the stage with a professional dance partner to entertain and raise funds to benefit Cristo Rey Jesuit High School's rigorous academics, innovative Corporate Work Study Program and faith formation.
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