Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

As colleagues from different generations (x/millennial), we’ve been leading talks and workshops sharing our insights about working across generations – what we call “cogeneration.” As we plan, we’re usually texting furiously, sharing ideas and reflections. So we...

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

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John Foley, S.J.

Cristo Rey Network
Purpose Prize Fellow 2007

Capitalizing on students skills to cover the high costs of running excellent schools.

John Foley could have retired in 1996 after 34 years of working with schools in Peru. Instead, the Jesuit priest, then 60, returned to the United States to launch the Cristo Rey Network, an innovative approach to Catholic college preparatory education that now serves almost 3,000 students, 92 percent of whom are racial minorities. The big idea? Capitalize on students’ skills to cover the high costs of running excellent schools. Law firms, banks, hospitals, and other corporations lease the students’ talents, paying $20,000 a year for a team of four interns who share a 40-hour work week. Students’ work helps underwrite the cost of their high-quality education, and they learn marketable skills. Clients are happy, and the school can focus on the classroom instead of competing for charitable dollars. Impressed by the Cristo Rey model, a venture capitalist contributed $12 million in 2001 to accelerate its growth. Today there are 12 schools in the Cristo Rey Network, operating in nine states. Nearly all graduates — 96 percent – have gone to college. Impressed with the success, the Gates Foundation invested $6 million in November 2006, paving the way for additional expansion. Seven more Cristo Rey schools in an additional seven states will open soon.