Summer Enrichment 2012

Exploring Block Island

Twelve Cristo Rey students, along with chaperones Brigid Quinn and Nick Cherico, spent a week in July exploring Block Island.   They enjoyed the outdoors in activities including bird banding, riding solar-powered Segways, walking through nature preserve, and listening to local drummers on the beach.  This trip is coordinated by the Science department, the Block Island Maritime Institute and generous Block Island residents, and aims to teach students about ecology, ecosystems and wildlife preservation.

The trip was covered in an article in the Block Island Times, “Introducing city students to the magic of Block Island.”

Wilderness Education Experience

Cristo Rey New York High School had 10 students at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley Campus near Aspen, attending ‘The Wilderness Education Experience’.  This course is offered through Colorado Mountain College's Outdoor Education Department during the summer for students from both Cristo Rey New York High School and Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School. 

Through this program students participate in a 14-day experience centered on acquiring outdoor skills, learning about environmental and social justice issues, and developing leadership skills.  Father Parkes joined the group for white water rafting at the close of the trip.

Summer Programs on College Campuses: More than 70% of our seniors took advantage of pre-college programs at schools including Columbia, Fairfield, Union, RIT, Boston College, Cornell, Wharton, Baruch, Georgetown, and Fordham.  Not only were these students exposed to college campuses, but they attended courses on topics ranging from business, medicine, and journalism to sports business, and STEM.  

The following students shared their experiences: 

Yvonne R., ('13), spent the summer of 2012 at Georgetown University Pre-College Program for students from the Cristo Rey Network.  While there, she lived on campus, took college-level courses and explored the surrounding Washington, DC community.  She commented, " in the international relations course, I learned a lot about nuclear weapons and Iran. We went to the Mount Vernon on the 4th of July, and I ate American cake. I also met people from other countries that are also part of the IR program, and we had dinner together. Yesterday we went to the museums; the Holocaust Museum was the most moving. Dr. Porterfield came and spoke to us on Saturday. It has been really great so far."

Yvonne has applied to Georgetown, as well as Colgate, Amherst, Villanova and Haverford.  She hopes to attend a liberal arts school and has not yet picked a specific major.  

Helenmarie H., ('13), and Tishira J., (’13), spent the summer of 2012 participating in the Bella Abzug Leadership Institute at Hunter College.  The program is geared toward helping young women develop leadership skills, such as public speaking and confidence-building in particular.

Helen commented, “it was particularly inspiring to hear from successful about the struggles they faced and overcame over the course of their careers and lives.”

Helenmarie has applied to Fairfield, Siena, Providence and others with the goal of studying English and Creative Writing.  Tishira has applied to Fordham, Catholic University, Hofstra and NYU, among others.  

Syed S., (’13), spent the summer participating in the Cornell Weill Medical College Scholars Program, a competitive program in which students interested in pursuing a career in medicine are able to shadow a doctor. 

Syed is thrilled to have been accepted Early Decision to Franklin & Marshall College.  

**Oneury B. (’14), and Byron A., (’14), spent the summer traveling throughout California as participants in the Trip of a Lifetime program.  In San Francisco, they walked the Golden Gate Bridge and visited Alcatraz.  They went water-skiing in Lake Tahoe before going to Los Angeles, where they visited UCLA, Disney Land and Universal Studios.  

Oneury commented, “this experience was great and taught me that everybody has that part of them that is insecure, but if you’re friendly and willing to open up, you can learn a lot about the world from others. Going to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe exposed me to a vastly different environment than the neighborhood I live in.  If I continue to be successful, I can strive to make my neighborhood better, like the regions of the country I visited.  This trip showed me how my neighborhood should look and now it is my job to fix it and make it a better place for everybody.”

Oneury and Byron will begin their college processes this spring, but already feel they have gotten a headstart.

Alma C. (’13), Daniela C. (’13),  and Leyry R. (’13), spent the summer participating in the Triskeles Sustainable Directions Internship program.  They worked at three different organizations committed to sustainability and social entrepreneurship as well as weekly seminars to discuss what they had learned at work and build their own sustainable business plan.  At the end of the summer, they pitched their different projects to everyone involved in the program, including the professionals from the green organizations.  

Natalie P. (’13) and Louis J. (’13) spent the summer participating in the Touro Pharmacy Summer Research Program.

Natalie has applied to Stony Brook,  La Salle, LIU-Brooklyn, and Manhattan among others.  She intends to continue pursuing a career in a medical field such as pharmaceuticals.  

Marlin C. (’13) spent the summer at Xavier University taking classes 

He was recently accepted to Xavier and has also applied to Scranton, Le Moyne and Marquette.  

Carol V. (’14), Kerry R. (’14) and Justin T. (’13) spent the summer at Brown University participating in their Pre-College Program.  

Carol commented, “While I was at Brown I took a psychology class with a professor in the morning that taught me about the negative and positive sides of being a psychologist. This was important to me because I was at a prestigious university and I wanted to learn more about the career I hope to pursue in the future.”  Justin commented, “Going to Brown was important for me because I felt it would give me a sense of what college life would be like socially and academically.”

Justin has applied to Marquette, Boston College, Fordham and the University of Rochester.  Carol and Kerry will begin their college processes in the spring.  

Nicholas H. (’13) spent the summer at Columbia University participating in their Summer Journalism Workshop.  

Nick has applied to Northeastern University, St. Thomas University and St. Michael’s College.  

Desiree M. (’13) spent her summer participating in the Adelphi University Summer Nursing Intensive.

Desiree has applied to Adelphi, Fairfield and St. Peter’s, and she plans to study Nursing in college. 

Mark A. (’13), Christian R. (’13), Jamal J. (’13), Osmara S. (’13), Shanel G. (’14) and Justin T. (’13) spent the summer participating in the Youth About Business program at Columbia University.  While there, they stayed in the dorms and were placed on business teams to compete in a Merger and Acquisition simulation.  

Shaquira Q. (’13), Karina H. (’13), Chabeli M. (’13), Julissa G. (’14), Nikitaa N. (’15) and Guadalupe P. (’13) spent the summer participating in different programs through the National Hispanic Institute.  

Karina commented, “At NHI, a bunch of students from around the world come together to discuss the issues within their mostly predominantly Hispanic communities. We find solutions to these problems and figure out ways to become leaders in our everyday environments.  Going to this program was very important to me for several reasons. I knew that this opportunity would be great for my resume when the college application process began. Also, I was never really away from my family for a long time so I knew that going away on my own for roughly a week would enhance my independence and show me that going away for college is the right choice.”

Karina has applied to Boston College, Tufts University and Union College, among other schools.  

Christine R. (’13), Hermez N. (’13) and Leslie H. (’13) spent their summer at Fairfield University participating in their Pre-College Program with other Cristo Rey students.  

All three have applied to Fairfield.  

Raven J. (’13) spent her summer on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania to participate in the Wharton Sports Business Academy for six weeks.  

Raven has applied to Elon University, the University of Scranton and Le Moyne College.  

Jonathan G. (’13) and Allison M. (’13) spent their summers at St. Peter’s College as part of the Summer Scholars Program studying forensic science.  

Jonathan commented, “Going on this trip was important to me because in my Junior year I knew I was going to apply to this school and the trip made me realize that it was a great fit for me.

Stephanie M. (’13) spent her summer on the Boston College to participate in the BC Summer Experience Program.  She took two courses for which she earned college credit, was able to experience life as a college student and explored the surrounding Boston area.  

She has applied to Boston College, as well as Hamilton, Hobart, Franklin & Marshall and Gettysburg.  She hopes to pursue a liberal arts education with a focus in either History or English.  

Fernando R. (’14) and Kimberly V. (’13) spent their summers participating in the Manhattan Summer Health Internship Program, a six-week placement for students interested in the health field.   

Fernando commented, “Participating in the SHIP Program was an amazing experience. I got to see the different points of view of doctors and others in the medical field. I met some amazing people including other students in the program and adults at the work place. The program exposed me to many different careers in the medical field and helped me narrow down my career interests by working directly with an orthopedic surgeon. I received an award after I was given a chance to present my PowerPoint to the staff and doctors at Cornell Medical College. 

Kimberly commented, “I completed a six week internship at New York Presbyterian- Allen Hospital as a volunteer in the Maternity and the Administration department and also attended weekly didactic sessions, which consisted of presentations by professionals in several areas of the medical field and trips. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to participate in this program because I was able to work in a different environment, explore different careers in the medical field, and enjoy learning with a group of people that shared aspirations similar to my own.” 

Fernando will begin his college process this spring.  Kimberly has applied to Fordham, Loyola of Maryland, and Barnard and plans to major in a pre-med field.  

Sarah K. (’13), Sophia C. (’13), Angelique B. (’13), Katlyn A. (’13), Dignauris G. (’13) and Jorge O. (’13) spent three days on the Marist campus to participate in Camp College.  While there, they learned more about how best to approach the college process and attended classes with college professors. 

Sarah commented, “I went home with a great experience of learning new things, and learning to open up to new people.”

Sarah is applying to Eugene Lange College and Russell Sage College among others.  Angelique has applied to Union and Marist.  Sophia has applied to Providence, Fordham and Canisius to name a few.  

Summer Enrichment 2011

University of Pennsylvania: Kermit R. ‘14

My culinary experience at the University of Pennsylvania actually provoked me to consider the Culinary arts as a career in my future.  At the start of our day, our instructors would start off by giving us a demo of the recipes we would be cooking for the entire day.  The recipes would vary from different cuisines such as: Italian, Asian, Native American and African. After the demo, the students would go off to their groups and gather all the ingredients needed for the day's recipes and start cooking it from scratch. There were four little stations equipped with an electric stand mixer, cutting boards, knives, portable stove top burners and measuring accessories. Also, there was a professional kitchen available to the students for the time being, where we would rotate daily, so that everyone had a chance to experience how to cook with professional appliances.

By the end of the three weeks, the students held a gala, where their parents would come in for dinner and be served what their kids prepared on their own.  My three weeks at UPENN were AMAZING.  I learned the hardships and struggles on how hard and stressful becoming a great chef may be.  The main reason I love to cook is because I like putting smiles on people faces after they eat a great meal I prepared.  Next summer, I am looking forward to take an internship in a restaurant to broaden and fortify my skills in the kitchen.

Marist College: Soribel N. '12
The two weeks that I spent in Marist College were the best two weeks of my summer.  I enjoyed every single second, minute, hour, and day of it.  I made amazing friendships and connections within those two weeks in Marist.  My time at Marist made me realize that I would like to have more variety in cultures, and it also made me realize that I still want to be surrounded by people that share the same culture that I have.  I experienced trips that I would've never thought I would be apart of.  I visited the United States Secret Service, the Dutchess County Jail, and the One Police Plaza here in New York City.  I received the honor of meeting Governor Cuomo and being a part of history when he signed the "No Texting While Driving" law.  I saw demonstrations of K-9 dogs, and I attended court for my very first time.

Fairfield University: Reuben W. '12

My week at Fairfield University was one to remember. Every moment spent there was a moment in which I felt closer to the ideal thought of a home away from home. As the days stretched through the week, I began to realize the value of this opportunity.  One of them would be the amount of people who I met both from the University and from other Cristo Rey Schools.  The other students who attended resembled our own thriving for success and expressed it with great enthusiasm as we Cristo Rey lions do. With that personality that we all shared, a sense of comfort grew between us and bonds were built. However, this experience was a surprise for me.

Before arriving at Fairfield University, I thought that our differences and backgrounds were going to impede that growth of friendship which people long for.  This experience was an “eye opener.”  All our fears, from dorming with people we do not know to having to talk to people we have never seen before, were diminished.  My college plans have been impacted because of this experience.  I no longer fear traveling on that road away from home, or waking up to a stranger who might be my potential friend for life.  I noticed that we cannot learn about life without an experience like college.  College isn’t just a place of studies or success, it’s your home for the next four, six, or even eight years.  I do not only need to thrive for excellence in a University, I need to live through it.

Sarah Lawrence College: Patience O. '12

The Sarah Lawrence Writing Workshop taught me that writing is not all about essays but instead about spreading awareness, releasing emotions, giving voice to topics that would remain voiceless otherwise. The program challenged me to step out of my description of writing to do exercise such as tossing balls around to enable my mind to function better while writing. The program gave me the opportunity to open parts of myself that remained dormant due to many other issues.  In less words, the program allowed me to build on my character so that I could be the person I never thought I could be. What surprised me the most is how fast I connected with certain people in my group and in the program in general. What was shared and what I shared with those who became some of my closest friends is what I treasure most from the program.

Plyce Fuchu '11
Throughout my experience at Cristo Rey New York High School the most challenging year for me was senior year.  Senior year has been challenging year for me because of all of the school work and the college process. Despite these difficulties, I was able to handle the college application because of the wonderful college counselors that the school offers. Through my college counselor, I was able to get into my first choice which was The University of Scranton. The college counselors in Cristo Rey are willing to help their students so that they can reach their dream school.  I am very grateful to have the faculty of Cristo Rey to help me through my college process because not many high schools offer the help that students need to become successful.  Cristo Rey offers seniors writing coaches so that the coaches can help the students with their personal essay.  I was able to submit a wonderful personal essay with the help of my writing coach, Ms. Sanders.  Through Ms. Sanders help and dedication in helping me write my personal essay, I have been confident that I would be able to get into the colleges I applied to.  Cristo Rey has opened up many doors that I am very grateful to have.  I am so glad that I was able to attend a magnificent and excellent school like Cristo Rey New York High School.