High school for underserved students opening at American Tobacco Campus in Durham

Posted December 2, 2020 5:04 a.m. EST
Updated December 8, 2020 2:00 p.m. EST

— A new high school for economically underserved students will open at the American Tobacco Campus next fall.

Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School will open adjacent to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park and Durham Performing Arts Center with a freshman class of 100 students. Classes of 100 new students will be added in years to follow.

Incoming freshmen entering high school in fall 2021 can apply online. According to Dr. Mike Fedewa, the school's president, a small portion of the tuition is paid by the family based on what they can afford.

Although the school is new to the Triangle, there are currently 37 Cristo Rey schools operating nationwide, including high schools in New York City, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta and San Diego. Officials said 98% students at existing Cristo Rey schools are minority students of color.

Cristo Rey High School

The Cristo Rey program features both an academic program and four years of work experience and mentorship provided by the support of local companies and professional firms. BB&T, Cisco, Cree, Diocese of Raleigh, Duke University's School of Nursing, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Lenovo, UNC's School of Medicine and others have already signed on to support the school.

According to Tuesday's announcement, "the program equips students with the academic training, character development and real-world career skills to transform their lives. Cristo Rey students are twice as likely to complete a bachelor’s degree by age 24, compared to the total U.S. low-income population."

Cristo Rey High School

"We have an exceptional team in place that is prepared and excited to create life-changing opportunities for economically marginalized minority students here in the Triangle area,” said Board Chair Mark Baric. “Our goal is for 100% of our graduates to be accepted to college as we firmly believe education is the key to transforming lives and permanently lifting these students and their families out of poverty."

Capitol Broadcasting Company, owner of WRAL and the American Tobacco Campus, partnered with Cristo Rey Research Triangle in its vision of bringing the school to downtown Durham.

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