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Cristo Rey Pre-College Program Adds KIPP Students

August 2, 2011 – Fifteen high school students from the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) joined 26 Cristo Rey Network high school students this past month for a three-week pre-college experience on Georgetown’s campus.

Among the activities for the high school seniors, who lived on campus, were pre-college workshops, classes, writing and biology workshops, SAT prep sessions, meetings with university admissions officers and a tour of Washington, D.C.

“So many of them came in never having been away from home before, and just seeing them grow in their confidence, maturity, knowledge and skill sets has been amazing,” said Rebecca Shinners (C’09), the program’s academic coordinator. “We’re looking forward to year three.”

Cristo Rey/KIPP

The Cristo Rey Network is a group of 24 nationwide Catholic college preparatory high schools that provides its students with a rigorous academic curriculum in a faith context while preparing them for college.

Last year’s pilot program served only Cristo Rey students, but this year it added KIPP, a network of 99 free, open enrollment college preparatory public schools in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

The Marineau Family Foundation and the School of Continuing Studies funded the program, which took place July 3 to July 24.

College Life

The program also included hearing from several panels of Georgetown undergraduates.

“The student panels were the most interesting to me because I like learning about the college life and what to do and what not to do from students themselves,” said Ralph Washington, a student at Cristo Rey New York High School in New York City.

One of the classes the students attended included government professor Anthony Arend’s international relations course.


“The international relations class was just so mind-blowing to me,” said Jessica Peregrina of KIPP King Collegiate High School in San Lorenzo, Calif. “I never thought of the world as such a big place, I feel so much more informed … The lectures were really good.”

Georgetown’s Cristo Rey and KIPP students also exchanged visits with high school students in the Franklin and Marshall College Prep for KIPP Scholars program, created by F&M president Daniel Porterfield (C’83).

Porterfield, previously Georgetown’s senior vice president for strategic development, helped lead the university’s partnerships with the Cristo Rey Network and KIPP.


Six Georgetown undergraduates served as mentors to the students at the university, leading them in reflection exercises and providing support and resources throughout the program.

“The two groups are both high-achieving students and we’ve seen tremendous effort and energy over the past three weeks,” said mentor Ryan Wilson (C’12).