Our Partnership with Cristo Rey New York High School
Although just 16 and 17 years old, once a week high school sophomore, Alan Peralta and senior, Tashawna Harris commute to the heart of New York City’s Financial District for a day of work at COA.
Alan and Tashawna are students of Cristo Rey New York High School whose innovative Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) is a critical component of the student experience. Students work one day per week in entry-level positions at an assigned company, earning up to 50% of the cost of their education.
Students become integral to some of the most prestigious corporations and nonprofit institutions in and around New York City. The program's value though is not specific to students, CWSP sponsors too experience palpable benefits. Now in its third year of partnership with Cristo Rey, COA staff have had the privilege of working alongside Tashawna, now in her third and final year at COA, and Alan, who began in the fall of 2016. Each week, we rely on their eager minds, fresh energy and unique perspectives as they tackle a wide range of responsibilities across departments, from tweeting out to COA’s network to digitizing our records to filing financial information to assisting in the preparation of training materials.
“Tashawna is an outstanding student worker. I am constantly in awe of her maturity and ambition," says Sabrina Harris, Accreditation Coordinator at COA and Tashawna’s supervisor. “She is always eager to take on challenging projects and learn new skills. While Tashawna is a tremendous asset to COA in her work with various departments, her contribution goes beyond the completion of day-to-day tasks. Her presence has a positive impact on COA’s organizational culture, which is something that we value most of all.”
James Williams, COA Site Visit Coordinator, shares this sentiment as Alan’s supervisor, “I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Cristo Rey and Alan. What we at COA provide in terms of professional growth and a place to put their knowledge and skills to good practice is returned ten-fold by the hard work, dedication, and talent Alan brings to the office every Wednesday.”
Without a doubt, this partnership and Tashawna and Alan’s weekly presence has enhanced organizational culture and morale, freed up staff for additional responsibilities and heightened our connection to our NYC community.
BY THE NUMBERS
Cristo Rey New York High School celebrates the diversity of New York City while striving to make a social impact. It welcomes students of all races, nationalities and faiths, and their curriculum and extracurricular activities honor the many origins of their student body.
378 students in grades 9-12
7% other ethnicities
Bronx – 54%
Manhattan – 36%
Brooklyn – 5%
Queens – 4%
Other – 1%
Average Family Income
Average Adjusted Available Income
Private Organization Accreditation
Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.
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Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer
Being a COA peer reviewer has clearly played a role in my professional development and has made me a better administrator at my own agency as a result! To be part of a professional network that is on the cutting edge of program, practice, fiscal responsibility, and insuring Best Practice across the field is an amazing opportunity.