Keeping it Together: An alumni reflects on the power of the Cristo Rey Network

Several weeks ago, Michael Odiotti, principal, received a letter from Class of 2016 graduate, Jose Santiago Elizondo, a Marquette and Greenhouse scholar and freshman at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. In the note, Jose shares his experience at a Colorado camp for Greenhouse scholars and a chance encounter with another graduate from a Cristo Rey school in Denver. His note speaks volumes about the immediate, and life-long impact of the Cristo Rey network in the lives of students and alumni.

I recently attended a summer symposium in Boulder, Colorado for Greenhouse Scholars. There were students from all over the country, attending very prestigious universities and we all had a blast. We hiked the enormous mountains, explored the city of Boulder, high roped in a national parks, listened to influential leaders, but most importantly, we told our stories.

When I told my story, it was important for me to mention Cristo Rey St. Martin. One Greenhouse Scholar who was present while I was telling my story, widened his eyes as I mentioned that I went to Cristo Rey St. Martin in Waukegan, IL. After, he came up to me and told me “I went to a Cristo Rey School too!” Thereafter, we went on and on talking about our unforgettable experiences as Cristo Rey alums.

His name is Juno Padilla. He attended Arrupe Jesuit School in Denver, Colorado. We are great friends now.

I am grateful to have attended Cristo Rey St. Martin, although it was only for a year. The Cristo Rey Network is incredible and now I see why it was emphasized a lot throughout the year. I am proud to be an alumnus of Cristo Rey.

Thank you, and the spectacular staff who have all helped me directly or indirectly. There is no way I could’ve been where I am today without your help. Once again, thank you so much. I can’t wait to visit Cristo Rey St. Martin soon!

Best wishes,