Velocity Retail, along with our REstoreD division, is pleased to announce that we have been selected to participate in the feasibility study program for the first Cristo Rey School in Phoenix. The City of Tucson has had a Cristo Rey School (San Miguel High School) since 2004.
The Cristo Rey Network was founded in 1996. Since the opening of their first school in Chicago, they have opened 26 schools across the United States. Their motto is “Transforming Urban America One Student at a Time,” and as they state on their website: “Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students.” Each school operates around a culture of growth, spirituality, intellectual competence, love, commitment to justice, and work experience.
The school takes low income students who are 2-3 years behind their grade and helps them advance through a college prep education. This is not a charter school, but a type of private school that most families could not afford for their children if they had to pay full tuition. However, Cristo Rey has developed a program that allows these students to “earn” a portion of their tuition while attending school. The program works like this:
- Students typically attend school from 7am to well after 5pm four days a week.
- One day a week, each student participates in a work-sharing team that splits a full time clerical position in a variety of organizations throughout the city where the school is located.
- Students develop practical job skills and experience in a variety of industries including law, healthcare, finance, banking, advertising, engineering, architecture, accounting and non-profits.
- Students’ work skills are developed through intensive summer training and year round seminars administered by the Cristo Rey staff and other volunteers.
- The money earned from this work pays for 3/4 of the students’ tuitions.
Not only are students receiving a superior education, working side by side with executives and professionals in numerous trades shows them a variety positions that could be available to them after they graduate from college. Furthermore, it helps the students develop a superior work ethic and sense of responsibility that is invaluable to them when they embark on their own careers.
In addition to the office work, each student is required to perform a minimum of 20 community service hours each year to enrich learning and strengthen communities. They are encouraged to work in areas to broaden the social justice issues facing their community: youth and education, hunger, homelessness, elderly care, community development/organization, and religious education or catechism.
Cristo Rey averages over 95% enrollment in college, with students going on to schools such as Boston College, Georgetown University, and state universities across the U.S. as well as many Ivy League colleges. For more information on Cristo Rey, please visit www.Cristoreynetwork.org.
Velocity Retail Group’s REstoreD division analyzes and provides adaptive re-use solutions for vacant and obsolete big box retail. Many of these sites have become less-viable retail uses with the prevalence of mobile technologies, social networks and cloud databases which have transformed how retailers operate. The REstoreD division is leading the way to create innovative solutions for these buildings adapting them to locations that provide jobs and revitalizing the surrounding area. REstoreD is a collaborative effort that brings together the diverse real estate disciplines of office, industrial, multi-family, education, health-care, quasi-government agencies, and public private partnerships.
|Mike Fitz-Gerald Mike is a seasoned and accomplished commercial real estate professional. He brings over thirty-five years’ experience to the benefit of Velocity Retail’s clients. Being adept in the transaction process as well as the management side of our business gives Mike a unique advantage when dealing with our clients. By maximizing the value of assets and creatively bringing solutions to fruition, Mike is able to utilize his broad experience in every transaction. As the co-leader of Velocity Retail’s REstoreD division, he will be “Rethinking the Box” to bring creative solutions to shopping centers with vacant Big Boxes. Mike’s ability to coordinate government, academic, public and private resources is a cornerstone to his success in this arena.|