These High School Kids Are Truly Gems Of Detroit

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I first met kids from Detroit Cristo Rey High School three years ago when I visited the school. I wanted to learn more about this Catholic co-ed school that provides college preparatory education to students from economically disadvantaged families in Detroit. The average family income of Detroit Cristo Rey students is less than $30,000.

I had a great time that day. The kids were fun, smart and great to be around. Then, I had an opportunity to work with them as part of the school’s work-study program. The students spend four days each week in the classroom and one day per week of real-life work experience with more than 80 businesses and organizations in metro Detroit.

It’s paying off for these kids. They are truly gems of Detroit.

The school opened in 2008 and has had three graduating classes. Every graduating senior in the first three classes has been accepted to college. 85% of graduates have enrolled in college and more than 70% are currently pursuing their degree in college.


This comment from the school’s president Michael Khoury pretty much sums up what Cristo Rey is all about. “When I recently asked a student why she wanted to come to Detroit Cristo Rey, she said she ‘wanted a real life.’  And that just really stunned me … most of us just grow up and think we’re entitled to that.”

detroit-regional-news-hub-detroitThere is a way to help more of these kids find that real life. The school will host Gems of Detroit on Friday May 8 from 7 – 10 pm at Eastern Market’s newly remodeled historic Shed 5. There will be food, music, dancing and products that make Detroit great … an all-around good time. The proceeds will directly benefit Cristo Rey students. For the second consecutive year Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is the Title Sponsor.

A standard ticket is $100. A patron ticket is $250. They are available by clicking here.

If you are interested in more information visit or contact Naomi Howrani at or 313.402.0081

A version of this post originally appeared on DetroitUnspun.

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