Cougar Chronicles: 10 Years of Empowering Students, Issue 3

Dec 6, 2022 | Cougar Chronicles

Greetings, Cristo Rey Columbus supporters!

The holiday season is upon us, and we hope it brings many moments of peace and joy to you and your loved ones. At Cristo Rey Columbus, the students are in the home stretch of closing out the first semester, and after a rigorous slate of mid-term exams, they will be able to relax their brains and rejuvenate their spirits during a well-deserved Christmas break.

The holidays tend to bring about a feeling of nostalgia, which is quite fitting for our continued 10-Year Celebration! In addition to sharing a look back with alumni, board members, and former staff in this issue, we thought you would enjoy a few photos from Cristo Rey’s Christmases past:

In other school news, the Boys Soccer and Girls Volleyball teams finished first in the United League, making them both back-to-back Conference Champions. This means alterations are needed to the new décor in the school’s gymnasium (check out the Inside the Walls feature below to learn more!) Students, faculty, and staff celebrated Mass together for the Feast of Christ the King, our school’s feast day, and students received prayer cards and were encouraged to say a special prayer for the Cristo Rey Columbus community. The National Honor Society inducted 22 new student scholars into the CRC chapter in a beautiful ceremony attended by family and friends. The Student Council Heritage Committee took time to help our school recognize Native American Heritage Month by posting facts about native tribes in the Columbus area, creating a Native American Art Walk, and hosting afterschool Make-Your-Own-Dreamcatcher craft activity.

Continued thanks for being a part of the Cristo Rey Columbus family. We hope you enjoy the special features in this issue – including hearing from Cristo Rey Columbus alumni and students – and much more!

Viva Cristo Rey!

10 years ago, the first Cristo Rey Columbus students began their journey as the inaugural freshman class. One of those students, Jeremy Banahene, went on to graduate from Xavier University with not one but TWO Bachelor’s degrees, one in Criminal Justice and one in Psychology. He is now pursuing a Master’s degree in Nursing at The Ohio State University to become a nurse practitioner.

Jeremy was kind enough to sit down with us to reflect on what he enjoyed the most about his time at Cristo Rey, how Cristo Rey prepared him for his college journey, and how he continues to appreciate his experience. Click the play button below to watch!

We are so grateful to ALL of our Professional Work-Study Partners, past and present, for championing our students and giving them an invaluable professional experience.

In this issue, we celebrate 10-Year Partner, Grange Insurance. Formed in 1935, Grange Insurance offers affordable and customizable home, auto, life, and business insurance protection to policyholders. Based in Columbus, the company now operates in 13 states with a network of about 3,600 independent agents. The beautiful company headquarters located on South Front Street expanded in 2009 and incorporates the original corporate offices built in 1977.

We asked Doreen DeLaney Crawley, EVP and Chief Operations Officer, why Grange Insurance is proud to partner with Cristo Rey Columbus:

“Grange Insurance is a proud long-term supporter of the Cristo Rey Work Study Program because of its proven success. Cristo Rey does an outstanding job preparing its students for the world of work while promoting excellence in the classroom. Throughout our partnership, we have witnessed students grow into confident young adults who contribute significantly to our company and culture through their assigned projects and tasks. We have seen many extraordinary students who have consistently exceeded our expectations and made a difference in our organization. At the same time, this has provided a growth opportunity for Grange associates as they have a chance to learn and grow as mentors of these young people. Cristo Rey‘s Work Study Program is a win for the students, Grange and our community.”

A big shout out to Grange’s student workers for the 2022-23 school year, sophomores Jordan C. (below left) and Kaleb T. (below right)

We asked Kaleb to tell us a little about how his job at Grange helps prepare him for his future:
“At my job at Grange Insurance, I am gaining knowledge about the insurance industry, which I know will benefit me in the future. The things I am learning as an intern will help me in the long run, whether it’s for personal reasons or for my career path. My job at Grange also teaches me the importance of putting in a full effort and not being afraid to ask questions. A big mistake, in my opinion, is to not ask for help and do the work the wrong way, instead of asking for help and doing it the correct way and to the best of your ability.”

Each issue will feature a look inside the school to showcase the enhancements taking place to enrich and enliven the student experience. Click below to enjoy the short video featuring Boys Soccer Captain, Kameron ’23, and Girls Volleyball Captain, Maddie ’23, about their teams’ recent athletic success!

There are countless individuals who played a part in making the dream of Cristo Rey Columbus a reality, and we thank them all!

Leadership is such an important factor in any successful endeavor. Luckily, for Cristo Rey Columbus, there were many passionate and talented individuals to lead the way, including Founding Board of Trustees Chair, Tom McAuliffe. We asked Tom a few questions about his involvement with Cristo Rey and the positive impact it has had for him:

Q: What is your fondest memory of your involvement with Cristo Rey Columbus so far?

A: My fondest memory of my involvement with CRCHS was the first day of school in 2013. After four years of planning and hard work, it was exhilarating to walk through the halls of the old building behind Mount Carmel Hospital and feel the presence of the 60 some students who believed in the concept of Cristo Rey and were willing to give us a chance. Hearing the teachers and seeing the faces of the students who were so ready to embrace their future was an exceptional experience, one that I will never forget.

Q: How has being a part of Cristo Rey Columbus given you a sense of fulfillment?

A: Being part of CRCHS has given me a wonderful sense of joy and fulfillment. Having been educated by Jesuits in college, I embrace the concept of being in service to others. Men and women for others! Nothing is as fulfilling as helping to give a hand up to young people.

Q: What is your hope for the future of Cristo Rey Columbus?

A: My hope for CRCHS is that it continue to provide a high-level high school education to our students, prepare them to be successful in life, and enable them to earn a degree of their choice without incurring a burdensome amount of debt.

In the summer of 2019, a series of interviews took place with key individuals involved with Cristo Rey Columbus’ creation and early days of operation. Conducted by Liz Webb, Columbus Foundation Fellow, these interviews have been compiled into an oral history of the school. This issue features a conversation with Cristo Rey Columbus High School’s Former Director of Development, James Ragland. Click the button below to enjoy the audio interview!