A nice working relationship is building between St. Viator Catholic Community and Cristo Rey St. Viator, both in the Las Vegas area. Two years ago, Cristo Rey students began gathering at St. Viator for class retreats, and last year they furthered their connection, when the parish commissioned a statue of their patron to be installed at the school.
“We wanted students to know the importance of our patron,” said Fr. Richard Rinn, CSV, pastor of St. Viator Catholic Community.
Within months of making the gift, St. Viator School officials deepened their support by hiring four students from Cristo Rey St. Viator to work part time at the school. As part of the Cristo Rey system and its Corporate Work Study Program, students work one day a week to support the cost of their tuition.
At St. Viator, they worked in preschool, kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms, as well as at the school’s front desk, and always along side of faculty and staff members.
“Our students and teachers are appreciative of all they have added in support of student learning,” St. Viator officials said. “We look forward to partnering with Christo Rey St. Viator next year.”
Associate Deborah Perez, who directs the Corporate Work Study Program, explains that at the beginning of their CRSV journey students begin career exploration. They answer surveys about their interests and skills, and those who expressed an interest in education and working with children were selected to work at Catholic schools.
This year, CRSV students worked at 60 different work sites across the Las Vegas Valley in a variety of industries, including at three different Catholic schools: Our Lady of Las Vegas, St. Anne’s and St. Viator.
“Our corporate partners support student education by providing relevant work experience,” Deb says. “We are still seeking out job placements and sponsorships to support this program. Our goal for our students is to find entry level, clerical work, where they can learn about jobs that require higher education.”