Cristo Rey Boston High School

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Loren Vanegas: Pathway to Success

In the Fall of 2020, as COVID raged across the country, Loren optimistically headed to Georgetown University to begin her first year. It had been a long road to get there. Loren’s family had immigrated to this country from Colombia and Loren was the first in her family to attend college. Thanks to the guidance of the Cristo Rey Boston college counseling staff, the support from her mentor at Thornton Law, and a generous scholarship from Georgetown University, Loren had achieved the American Dream.


Unfortunately, COVID intruded, striking her entire family seriously ill back in Boston. With her father hospitalized and her mother unable to work, Loren had no option but to take on the responsibility of paying their rent.  Her family lacked a safety net and homelessness became a real threat. As a result of the stress and Loren’s need for nearly full-time employment, her grades began to plummet.


Loren reached back to her Cristo Rey Boston community, knowing they would help. Receiving support and advice from both her mentor at Thornton Law and staff at school, Loren was able to tap into academic support at Georgetown and find resources in Boston for her family’s medical and financial needs.


Loren is now a sophomore and reports that her family is on a more secure footing. Having declared a major in Computer Science and Sociology, she is working hard to find a balance between studies, work commitments and social life. Loren says that “The education I received at Cristo Rey Boston, and the experience learning to balance the demands of the Corporate Work-Study program and academic commitments has served me well. I am now building on those skills to become a strong independent learner at a highly competitive college.”  A member of the Georgetown Scholars Program, specifically set up for 1st generation, low-income students, she has found numerous resources to help her “master the hidden curriculum of college.” She noted that “although the playing field to get to Georgetown may not have been equal, I now have an opportunity through my intellect to compete on a level field. I appreciate the foundation that my Cristo Rey experience provided.” With goals firmly in sight, and the support of a caring community both at Georgetown and in Boston to support her, Loren is excited about her future.