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Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

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Support the Resilience Fund!

My name is Kiara Machuca and I’m an alumna from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s first graduating class of 2011. After graduating from CR, I pursued a Marketing degree at Santa Clara University. Now, I’m pursuing my Master’s Degree in Human Resources at the University of Minnesota.

Kiara as a senior with her family

Our school opened its doors in August 2007. When my classmates and I stepped foot into the brand new building, we had no idea how each of our lives would be impacted. We all worked in corporate jobs and endured long school days and an extended school year. During high school, I met two very special people: Colleen and Jim Ryan. I met Jim Ryan while working at Ryan Companies, where one of my tasks was to meet with the CEO (which at the time was Jim.) Jim was a humble leader, and as 17-year-old, I had no idea he was so influential in the business community.  Also, I didn’t know at the time that Jim and his wife, Colleen, who became a mentor for me, were the ones to bring the Cristo Rey model to South Minneapolis.

One of Jim and Colleen’s dreams was to offer diverse students in the Twin Cities the best educational experience and provide them with a support system that could help us unleash our whole potential. Jim and Colleen collaborated with business leaders to build our school - and where we continue to be the only school in Minnesota with a corporate work study program. I’m happy to share their dreams have come true. Since the school opened in 2007, Cristo Rey has gone from a “start up” school and teenage “temp agency,” to an organization that is creating real change in the community and inspiring students to become leaders.

Since I graduated in 2011, Cristo Rey has achieved 100% college acceptance. Most of those seniors enroll in college and over 90% of Cristo Rey graduates are the first in their families to go to college. We now have 874 alumni, over 10% of whom have gone on to work on Corporate Work Study Partner organizations.

As a proud Cristo Rey graduate, I’d like to ask you to continue to invest in the future leaders of tomorrow. The mission of Cristo Rey is to unlock the potential of students to transform communities. Your support is critical to solidify this dream for years to come.

Please consider making a financial gift to the school’s “Resilience Fund” to secure this dream.

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Thank you,

Kiara's signature                           

Kiara Machuca ’11
Corporate Relations Associate
P.S. As we enter the final stretch of the calendar year, and as our students enter exams, I’m excited to share an opportunity with you to double your impact at CRJ. Between now and December 31st, every dollar you donate to Cristo Rey Jesuit will be doubled, up to $70,000!