CRJ Alumna Discovers Diversity & Inclusion Career Path
Marquette University sophomore and CRJ alumna Alexandra Quintana, '20 has always wanted to make a difference in her community. She thought the best way to do this would be to become a lawyer. Because of this initial interest in law, she received an invite to attend a lawyer panel discussion at Northwestern Mutual.

The panel was hosted by Adam Gabornitz, who introduced himself as the Assistant Director of Diversity and Inclusion. "This title caught my attention since I have never heard of it. I ended up setting up a coffee chat with Adam and learned more about his position," Alexandra said.

Gabornitz recommended that she apply for an HR internship that focused on diversity and inclusion. Alexandra followed Adam's recommendation, and this summer Alexandra is a human resources intern at Northwestern Mutual with a focus on D&I. "I am most looking forward to learning more about D&I in the corporate setting and the work they do to make a difference.”

Alexandra credits her corporate work study experience through CRJ for introducing her to what was expected of her and how to be professional in the business world. She also cited the connections made to programs like Encuentros, a mentor program for CRJ students through Marquette University, to her personal growth. “Encuentros introduced me to connections and resources that made college not seem so intimidating. Now that I am part of Encuentros as a mentor, I can give back to my community by helping my mentees from CRJ.”
President Stith with Augustin Khey and Aniya Pratt, winners of the Class of 2022 Spirit of St. Ignatius Award
Is the American Dream still alive? The concept of the American Dream roots itself in the belief that if someone works hard and takes advantage of opportunities to better their future, they can improve their lot in life. Of course, some people are born into the world with more or less advantages than others and find this concept more or less accessible based on their starting point in life. It also involves a good deal of luck, the right timing, and the ability to overcome great obstacles and challenges. Lastly, the upward mobility that is typically associated with the American Dream can occur rather quickly or more incrementally over generations. In fact, accessing the American Dream may and often does require sacrifice from previous generations so that future generations may experience it. 

When Augustin Khey, our valedictorian said in his speech at this year’s graduation, “8,000 miles away and 12 years ago, in a refugee camp of Mae Hong Son, Thailand, a chapter in my life came to a close and a new chapter began” he was referring to his family’s journey from Thailand as refugees to the United States. Their “new chapter” in the US was filled with incredible difficulties as Augustin’s family sought to be included in a new country, speak a different language, learn about cultural differences, and make a life for themselves. Augustin’s parents sacrificed so that Augustin and future generations in his family could have a better life. As I listened to Augustin give his valedictorian speech, I thought about how hard he worked and how he kept focused on his goals. Augustin also recognized aloud that he was standing at the podium that day with the support of family, friends, Cristo Rey staff, corporate work study partners, donors and by the grace of God. In the fall, Augustin will go to Stanford University on a full-ride scholarship to study economics and computer science. Augustin’s amazing story, like so many of our students’ stories, inspires us and offers us a glimpse into the meaning of the education we offer at Cristo Rey Jesuit to our families.
In the four graduations our school has celebrated, most of our students are the first generation or first in their families to pursue higher education towards a future career. Between classwork and our work study experiences, we have built a platform for students to take concrete steps towards a future that they and their families had only dreamt about previously. If someone were to ask me about the American Dream and whether it is still alive, I would have to say yes. We see it in the stories of our families and students. I would invite anyone who doesn’t believe this to our next graduation!
Cristo Rey Jesuit is honored to be highlighted in North Shore Bank’s Playmaker Profile series. A Corporate Work Study Program partner since 2018, the bank's profile shows how impactful CWSP is for students academically and professionally. Aniya '22 and Bryan '24 shared how their time management, problem solving, and other skills developed through their CWSP experiences led to success in the classroom.

“You know other students aren’t doing this at other schools,” said Bryan. “You can put it on your resume, and it just helps knowing what a work experience is.”

Aniya shared, “The biggest thing I learned through CWSP was that no matter how many hardships are in my way, I’m allowed to be myself." She also discovered that when she may not know the answer, she has developed the confidence to ask the question and do so professionally.

Thanks to Aniya and Bryan for being wonderful representatives of CRJ and to North Shore Bank for highlighting Cristo Rey Jesuit and our Corporate Work Study Program.
On June 3rd, Cristo Rey Jesuit celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2022! FOX6 covered the ceremony and shared the story of the Class of 2022’s accomplishments. During her student speech, Ailed Martinez told her classmates, With the help of our community of teachers, friends, parents and most importantly with the help of God we have been able to make the impossible possible. In this year alone, we have achieved incredible things that only four years ago we dreamt of and now it has become a reality. I know that with the continued help and love of our parents and family; with the continued support of our Cristo Rey community; and by the grace of God, we will continue breaking barriers and set the world on fire."
Is your business interested in partnering with our work study program?
We would like to speak with you about how your business or organization can partner with our Corporate Work Study Program! Contact Andy Stith at 414.436.4600 Ext. 2250 or
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