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Cristo Rey College Prep Draft Day 2017The feeling at the Cristo Rey College Prep on Draft Day 2017 was absolutely electric. With the sounds of cheering students while spot lights gleemed accross the crowd filling the gymnasium.  Included in that sea of people were student band members playing music that of an eclipsing moment as the students entered, over 75 of Dallas' top business' with their top brass representing, 128 of the body of students that were to be selected on this day, thus calling it Draft Day for what could be a glimse into career takeoffs, but remember that these kids aren’t going to sports teams. They are a part of this class of Cristo Rey Dallas, a college preparatory high school aimed at educating some of our country's most impoverished students.

The school, which is private is located on St. Augustine Road in Pleasant Grove. Students will help fund their own tuition cost by participating in a work-study program that includes some of the city’s most esteemed companies.

Work-study program in the auto industry dallasScreams and cheering erupted Friday each time the brass from these sponsoring Dallas business' called the names of the students they drafted as a part of the work-study within their business. For the past 3 years John Eagle Honda of Dallas has been one of the pioneering business' that has made this program a staple of the school and the success of this growing program.  Thanks to John Ingram, General Manager and Managing Partner of John Eagle Honda of Dallas was one of the founding members.  "This program is a way for us to give back to a community that has provided us so much, these students are smart, polite, and worthy of a break" he said from the airport in Nashville.  This was the first he missed due to a scheduling conflict and was visibly dissappointed he could not attend.  

In his place was Nino Parco, Business Analyst for John Eagle Honda of Dallas.  "I was streaming the event to John Ingram for as long as I could, it broke his heart to miss this event and I now know why' stated Parco.  

“This experience is more than just about earning a paycheck, though,” said Gunnar Rawlings, the corporate work-study director at the school and the son of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “We honestly believe that the experience at the corporate environments is informing what they’re learning in the classroom.”

Cristo Rey Dallas is one of 30 high schools that make up the Cristo Rey Network throughout the country. The network is associated with the Catholic Church, however students from all faiths attend. The Dallas school is about 97 percent Hispanic, with many of these students Catholic and Christian.