“What’s so unique about (the work/study program) is it was conceived exclusively as a way of ‘keeping the lights on.’ After they implemented it, they realized how much the students were getting out of that work experience.” - Conor Heaton
Conor Heaton guides expansion strategy for the Cristo Rey Network as their Director of School Growth. A former trial attorney in Chicago, Conor is an expert on the legal side of feasibility studies and what it takes to launch a school. It is his passion for helping young people, however, that speaks most clearly when he shares his experiences with us.
The Cristo Rey concept is based on a work/study program for high school students; they attend classes four days per week and work in a local business for one day per week. Conor shares that one key to success is positioning the work as an actual job - not as an internship. Performing a legitimate task for an appropriate level of pay leads to an appreciation by both the employer and the student for the value that they each receive from the work.
If you are curious about how a work/study program might work in your school, sharpen your pencil and turn up the volume. Conor’s practical considerations and enthusiasm will give you plenty to think about.
05:12 “What’s so unique about (the work/study program) is it was conceived exclusively as a way of ‘keeping the lights on.’ After they implemented it, they realized how much the students were getting out of that work experience.”
16:52 “Communicating with community leaders and prospective families about whether Cristo Rey is something they want and would support is vital.”
20:00 “We don’t want to overpromise, but we want people to know who we are and who we are not, and who we can confidently serve and who we can’t.”
Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:
Cristo Rey Network - https://www.cristoreynetwork.org/
Cristo Rey Jesuit Instagram - cristoreyjesuit.wufoo.com/forms/mc4tpjp0lqw00l
Twitter - twitter.com/CristoRey
Where to learn more about the guest:
Cristo Rey Network - https://www.cristoreynetwork.org/about/national-office-staff
Conor Heaton at Linkedin - linkedin.com/in/conor-heaton-9674526/
Where to learn more about Enrollhand:
Our webinar: https://webinar-replay.enrollhand.com
Our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/schoolgrowth/