Creighton Helps High School Students Get Education
Helping students from low-income families attend a college preparatory high school is a key goal of the St. Peter Claver-Creighton University Connections program. Creighton University is the only four-year university in Nebraska that serves as a worksite for the school, which is part of the Cristo Rey network. This network of urban private schools combines education with college prep rigor while giving students experience working in corporate and other professional job settings. These paid internships help defray tuition and provide the Cristo Rey schools a revenue stream.
At Creighton, eight St. Peter Claver students are not only being exposed to a professional worksite, but also college life. In addition, each student is partnered with a student mentor and a faculty/staff mentor. Additional career counseling, leadership activities and college shadowing are also part of the package.
“This program is at the heart of the Jesuit, Catholic mission of the University to provide education to those who deserve it despite challenging circumstances. Our faculty, staff and students want to contribute to the betterment of society and pursue knowledge in all its forms. This program was a natural alliance,” said W. Wayne Young Jr., Ph. D, assistant vice president for Student Learning and coordinator of the program at Creighton.
According to Giovanni Barrios, a high school sophomore working at Creighton, the program has given him hope for a bright future.
“I am in the program because I wanted a good education so that I could have the life I really wanted, and the path I was heading down wasn’t going to give me that, I was heading down a path of gangs, drugs, and violence and, when you think about it, those kinds of people don’t make it past 25, and I didn’t want to be another statistic,” he said. Barrios works at the Skutt Student Center on Creighton’s campus one day a week.