With the purpose of fortifying and uniting their efforts to create a brilliant future for Cristo Rey St. Martin students, business partners, faculty, board members and staff came together on March 22, 2017 to brainstorm ideas for creating greater success for CRSM students both in school and in the business world.
About 150 people attended the all-morning event held at Grainger’s headquarters in Lake Forest. There, they huddled together sitting at circular tables and putting on their coaching hats to talk about what they can do together to reach desired outcomes for CRSM students.
“We are dependent on all of you to make these hopes and dreams for our students come true,” Preston Kendall, president of CRSM told those gathered. “We are very grateful for all you do day in and day out to help us provide a robust education and invaluable work study experience. We want to make it a value-ad for you and so we hope that someday, after they complete college, our students will come back and become working partners with you and your organizations.”
David Yeager, Ph.D, assistant professor of developmental psychology at the University of Texas-Austin, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Yeager has a master’s degree in psychology from Stanford University and is an expert and author on adolescent development. He shared some of his insights on the studies he has done on what motivates adolescents and how the delivery of feedback can contribute to positive or negative trajectories for youth.
In order to ensure positive outcomes for CRSM students, Dr. Yeager pointed out that it is key to operate from the place of realization that students want “to know they matter.”
“They want to know that what they are working hard for will have meaning, that they will make a difference,” he said. “In order for students to make positive changes and pursue goals, they have to be talked to with respect and dignity. You have to make sure they know that you really believe in them and what they can do in the future. Their trust in you is critical.”
Joseph High, Senior VP/Chief People Office for Grainger, a 10-year Corporate Work Study Program sponsor with CRSM and host of the annual gathering, underscored the theme of empowerment and gratitude: “You are not only shifting the trajectory of these young people’s lives, but know that the skills they learn and the young adults they will become have a ripple effect on the entire community. They will play a critical role in the future.”