Cristo Rey

September 30, 2019

So much bigger than an internship.
Bigger than architecture.
Even bigger than the NBA…

The Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory High School recently opened its doors in North Las Vegas welcoming their inaugural class of freshmen. Although The Cristo Rey Network® is comprised of 37 Catholic, college-and career-preparatory schools, serving 12,000 students across 24 states and collectively claim 18,000 graduates, this was their first location in Nevada – and it was a big deal. For them and for us.

LGA Architecture was fortunate enough to be invited to early talks with Fr. Thomas von Behren and the committee that was organizing to build the North Las Vegas campus – which we ultimately designed and saw through construction. Our staff is always motivated to work with inspiring clients. It gives us a chance to enhance our own empathy and serve our higher purpose, to create places where people can create positive memories that can illicit positive change in the world. However, we couldn’t even imagine then how many lives would be effected once this project was completed and the doors were opened to real-life young people, ready and determined. 

We were exposed to our client’s purpose on a deeper level. And we bought in. Literally. We became one of Cristo Rey’s first Corporate Work Study partners – meaning that us, along with other corporations in Las Vegas, pay the balance of tuition that a family may not be able to afford and, in turn, have students come to work for us.

Cristo Rey locates in areas that are underserved and many students come from lower income families. What inspires us is the fact that these kids are defying adversity with all of their being. They agreed to show up, do their best, and put on a brave face through a process that none of them could have been prepared for in their short lives. They endured a rigorous set of qualifications, interviews and training – all before the first day of school. They agreed to take on 10 hour school days, rather than the typical public school of 6.5, to allow them to work one day a week for their corporate work study partner. The ultimate objective is to expose these young minds to a corporate setting to help the transition from high school, college and career.

When asked to fill out their resumes, some of these kids responded that their goal was to be in the NBA. Well this is bigger than the NBA. With most of these students being the first of their families to set their sites on college and beyond, they’re not just changing their life, they’re changing the trajectory of their entire family. LGA is making it a mission to expose our four Cristo Rey students to a world of possibilities and give them the confidence to reach their full potential. You never know, we may even have a future architect in our midst.

Want to learn how your corporation could make a difference, or just want to get misty-eyed? Watch this.