September 19, 2014 – Georgetown senior counselor Jane Genster will become the next president and CEO of the Cristo Rey Network (CRN), where she will further champion Catholic education, college access for low-income students and strengthen its current partnership with the university.
Genster will join CRN, a group of 28 Catholic high schools that provide a place to learn in a context of faith, on Nov. 1.
“I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to lead the talented and accomplished network staff in supporting the transformative work of the faculties and staffs of the 28 Cristo Rey schools,” Genster says. “The aspiration and potential of our students – past, present and future – inspire and demand our very best work.”
Georgetown has partnered with Cristo Rey since 2009, with 53 Cristo Rey alumni now attending Georgetown as undergraduates and 21 who have graduated.
The partnership with Cristo Rey includes the Georgetown University Summer College Immersion program; a three-week job training boot camp; and a work-study program for high school students from the local Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Maryland.
The three-week summer program offers top-performing rising seniors from Cristo Rey and KIPP Foundation schools a chance to experience college by taking courses, living in residence halls and interacting with faculty, students and staff through mentoring and reflection opportunities.
“Jane has worked tirelessly over the years as a member of the Cristo Rey Board of Directors and liaison to the university to deepen our partnership with Cristo Rey,” says President John J. DeGioia. “Her hard work and extraordinary leadership has provided tremendous benefits to Georgetown, Cristo Rey and the many students who have traveled here for better access to college opportunities.”
This past summer, 44 students participated in the immersion program, with more than 180 students attending the program since its inception in 2010.
Genster says the summer immersion experience not only teaches the participants about the academic rigors of college, it takes a more holistic approach.
"The Georgetown Summer College Immersion Program increases the competence, confidence and aspiration of these high-performing high school students,” says Genster, who enjoys facilitating a book discussion during the first week of the program. “The summer provides students with an opportunity not only to experience residential college life but to better understand their talents and abilities that will allow them to succeed in college and beyond.”
Genster will leave Georgetown after having served more than four years as senior counselor to the president, nearly 10 years as vice president and general counsel and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown’s Law Center during the 1980s.
In addition to her work at the university, which also included serving as interim executive director of the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service, she was vice chair of the Nativity Miguel Network of Schools board of director and board president of the Holy Trinity School and a board member of the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. She also has served on the boards of several other elementary and secondary schools, including the National Cathedral School and Beauvoir School, both of which she served as chair.
“Enhancing and increasing the opportunities for education for low-income students is critical,” she says. “Cristo Rey has a distinctive and very powerful approach rooted on the best traditions of Catholic education that is helping to educate high-character students who are college-ready and workplace-savvy.”