“Hello, my name is Damarion and I am a 10th grade student at Cristo Rey Richmond High School. My favorite subjects are geometry, world history, and P.E. The teachers are the reason I love these classes because they make me feel included. I came from a school where I didn’t fit in because of how shy I was, and this school gave me the opportunity to express who I truly am. My classmates make my experience even better. Everyone comes from different cultures but we are a family, one full of loving and caring people.
“Last year, the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) gave me a job with CREATIVE. I filed checks, worked on computer software, labeled order numbers on boxes before shipping them, worked on projects for the company and attended meetings about companies selling their products to CREATIVE. I developed communication, leadership, and time management skills. The experience I had at this company helped me step out of my comfort zone and be more confident.
“Last year I struggled with the spread of COVID-19. We lost family members and people we loved most. I experienced ups and downs. I was not able to learn in person, see the staff and my friends, or have easy communication with them. Luckily, we had technology to assist us during these times. The school sent us home with laptops so we could continue learning on Zoom. I felt like I was ahead of other students at other schools because I could still keep advancing in my schoolwork. I also felt like I was cared for not only as a student, but as a family member. Being virtual helped me improve my grades, feel a part of something, and feel loved.
“This year, I spend two days in-person and the rest virtual. My favorite virtual activities are working out with video tutorials, doing labs on teachingchemistry.org, and jotting down notes on the videos we watch during history class. My most favorite part of being in person is CWSP class. We are learning about elevator pitches, personal branding, workplace safety, and the employee rights in a work environment. I get really enthused about the CWSP mentorship program because we get to meet with our supervisor from our companies. This year, I work for Bliley’s Funeral Home. We learn about the different positions and how to excel at them. I’ve been able to get a real job thanks to the CWSP program preparing me.
“I have enjoyed the two years I’ve been at Cristo Rey Richmond. The way they’ve treated me and my family has been a really good experience. For next year, I would like to envision the school full of diverse students ready to learn, and more staff who bring a positive attitude. This will boost my confidence for years to come. When I leave this wonderful school, I want to attend the University of Virginia. Once I get there, I am going to major in Business/Economics to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
“Cristo Rey is preparing me for the future I want. They use every resource to ensure my success, including the cool technology to help us learn. I hope you will help next year’s class have the same advantages. Thank you.” – Damarion, Class of 2023
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