Nicole Pimentel, a freshman at The College of the Holy Cross, sums up the value of her Cristo Rey Boston education “I can definitely say that CRB has prepared me for the real world. I was able to become more independent and think for myself about my goals. I found friends with similar mindsets who wanted me to be successful.”
Cristo Rey Boston is differentiated by its innovative Corporate Work-Study program (CWSP), which requires students to work one day a week in a corporate setting along with their academic obligations. The CWSP program is designed to allow students to effectively provide 65% of their own tuition through their work, but more importantly, gain valuable career skills.
Nicole stated that “My best experience at CRB was my CWSP placement at Boston College. I was only 15 when I first started and throughout my three years working there, I was able to learn and grow so much as a person.” She continued, “I learned so many skills such as communication, emailing, Microsoft skills and customer service skills that I still use today.” Most importantly, “I formed relationships with my supervisors who I keep in touch with today because as you get older networking becomes essential and will benefit you in many ways. “
In discussing the challenges of starting college in an extraordinary year, requiring remote learning due to COVID 19, Nicole was again thankful for skills gained in the CWSP program, noting that “At CRB, I learned lessons such as public speaking and communication that benefit me in my class discussions. Networking is extremely important, it’s a matter of reaching out and keeping in touch with people because they can help you. At (Holy Cross) I have amazing advisors who truly care.”
Currently majoring in Psychology with an Education minor, Nicole has found navigating the college life a little more challenging given the current restrictions but pointed out “All the students seem to be welcoming and friendly especially to the freshman. Upperclassmen are constantly giving us advice and telling us how warm the community is between one another.” She continued, “I joined a couple clubs which are currently being held over zoom but even there you can see how comfortable they are with each other and how strong the community is. Professors are also nice and welcoming; they want their students to succeed and recommend office hours as much as possible. “
Nicole concluded by pointing out that “another important way CRB prepared me for Holy Cross was how the teachers and classes challenged me to a different level where I was able to improve my thinking skills. I learned organizational skills and how to manage a school-work balance. She remains optimistic for the future, noting that “having a positive mindset that soon I’ll be on campus and make new friends is what keeps me going!”