Work Study Program Allows High School Students To Afford Private School

Some Dallas students got drafted, not by a sports team but by businesses all across the area.

It's all part of a unique program that will hopefully help the students better prepare for college and their careers.

Cristo Rey Academy in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas runs the program for young people like Kenneth Flores.

"I want to be a pro soccer player but if that doesn't come to plan, I want to be an architect or an engineer," said Flores.

Students who have big dreams but who may not have the money to pay for a private school experience come here.

"My families really big and there's a lot of mouths to feed," said Flores.

Administrators at Cristo Rey got creative in figuring out how to help the students in their community pay for a private school education.

"We're all in this to provide a College Prep experience to kids who wouldn't normally have that opportunity," said Founding President Kelby Woodard.

Woodard has worked to create partnerships with dozens of Dallas businesses.

The companies hire the school's students to board buses and leave campus to work clerical jobs. Their pay gets sent back to the school to help pay for tuition and fund this private, "prep school" environment.

The work study program is a big deal. They hold draft day, where the businesses come and announce their first semester picks to work.

The students are called up, learn about their new company,and the role their will play.

Kenneth cares about sports, engineering, and architecture, but he wasn't paired up with any of those firms, instead he got the Federal Reserve Bank.

The idea is to expose this freshman to something different, year one. He'll get more say down the line. "It's cool," said Flores. "It's a new thing, maybe I'll like it, maybe I'll want to be there when I grow up. "

The students work one day per week at the job and the rest of the time is spent on campus. Their parents are paying around $700 for the school year to attend the unique work student program.

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