Preston Kendall, president of Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, continues to draw

Preston Kendall, left, receives the Dorothy Day leadership award from members of the Coleman Consulting Group of Chicago

attention to the school and its mission of providing academic excellence for students of limited economic means.

Most recently, Kendall won the Dorothy Day leadership award on March 8 from the Coleman Consulting Group of Chicago.

The awards ceremony took place at the Metropolitan Club of Chicago, where Kendall was honored for “his service in bringing greatness to all our children” and for “helping students most in need to be successful in school, but more importantly, in life as men and women in service of others.”

Kendall’s award was one of four given that evening as part of the company’s stewardship initiative dedicated to strengthening the financial health of non-profit organizations through best practices in procurement, more efficient processes and reduced costs.

In particular, the award acknowledges the legacy of Dorothy Day, a leader with an

Fr. Thomas von Behren, right with Preston Kendall, president of CRSM

extraordinary commitment to education and the values of faith and social justice.

“Cristo Rey is really all about the students — and our belief in them,” Kendall said in accepting the award.

The innovative Cristo Rey model blends rigorous academic preparation and Catholic educational values, with significant work experience through its Corporate Work Study Program. By working one day a week, students help pay their tuition and are exposed to workplace readiness skills and inspirational role models.

At the 2015 graduation of CRSM students
Photo by: Jim Dippold

The Viatorians wholeheartedly believe in this mission. Back in 2004, when the school opened, they were among the founding religious communities to financially back the high school, and they continue to support it.

Over the years, Viatorians have served in administration, on its board, on the faculty and staff, in Campus Ministry and as mentors and benefactors. Fr. John Milton, CSV, continues to serve as a visiting professor at the school and Associate Jim Thomas serves on its board of trustees.