Cristo Rey Boston High School

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CWS Supervisor Thank You Breakfast

We were thrilled to be back in person for this year’s Supervisor Thank You Breakfast! Thank you to Northeast Managing Partner, David Foss and PwC for hosting us in their beautiful space!


Thank you to all of our CWS partners and supervisors for your daily work with our students. We can’t wait to see the results of this year and continue on to next in September and School Year ’24! 


graphic of images from the Supervisor Breakfast

Tayler Morris, Utile Design’s Director of People and Culture, shared her story as a Cristo Rey St. Martin alumna and her role as Supervisor to Cynthia ’24. Read her remarks below:


Thank you, President Powers, Mr. David Foss from PWC, Principal Ryan and Marcin for speaking to the immeasurable value that work study and the Cristo Rey Network brings to the Boston’s student and workforce. Thank you, Cynthia, for the lovely introduction. I am humbled by the opportunity to speak on my own Cristo Rey journey. As an alumna of the Network, I know intimately the ups and downs of what being a work study student means and now as a second-year supervisor, I also know the ups and downs of the supervisor experience.  


My Cristo Rey Story and Corporate Work Study experience greatly informs my approach as a supervisor. I have memories of the nervousness I felt when starting a new role or the sense of accomplishment I experienced when completing an assignment well or ahead of schedule. As I prepped my remarks, I was reminded of the range of tasks and skills I learned in those formative years; From being an experienced receptionist by my senior prom to filing, collating, stocking, shredding, even digitizing data from floppy disks [pause for gasps]… My wide range of experiences – even the outdated ones – are still with me to this day.


During my sophomore year, I was let go from my work study position and it rocked my world. If you know me in real life, I had never failed at anything important. Let alone a job. For me, the stakes felt incredibly high – my family took a chance on sending me to a school that cost tuition, no matter how small and how many scholarships I was given – it was tough. And when I started my next placement – my confidence was shot. I am grateful for Ann Rahn at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. I spent the next two and a half years at the Graduate school where Ann really invested time, energy and positivity in my life. When I needed it most, she made me feel special. She radiated an openness and humility that made me feel that I could connect with her – even when we had little to nothing in common. And I carry that with me. I hope that our student feels that she can show up and be herself, ask questions, learn something new every day, and leave feeling accomplished and proud of the day.


Today, I see myself striving to be the kind of CWS supervisor, and person, that leads with intention, kindness, humility, and grace. I know all too well the necessity of learning how to navigate predominantly white, and wealthy spaces at a young age. Corporate America and academia have not historically been accessible to all, and the Network is working to build pathways and right this wrong. The relationship that we cultivate as CWSPartners is a reciprocal one, and at the center is the spirit of working to create a more just society. Now that I am in a position to train the next generation of learners and workforce, it is imperative to continue to demonstrate the values of justice, equity, inclusion, diversity, and empathy in the workplace and our lives.

So, what are some key takeaways or important tips to remember?

  • Remember that students may feel an intense pressure or anxiety at the thought of being in an office building downtown – imposter syndrome doesn’t discriminate based on age and students WILL feel out of place at first. But with the right tools, attitude, and attention, they can overcome this in a matter of weeks. Please be patient and consistent.
  • Remember what it is like to be a kid – there are certain things that are stimulating and others that aren’t. When building our Work Study student’s work schedule, try to find balance between the more tedious, or not so interesting assignments, and the tasks that the student may excel or enjoy. Work still HAS to get done, but Cynthia and I typically negotiate and find balance throughout the day. Like any supervisor should, talk to your staff and inquire about what they like.
  • Always say thank you – no matter how small. Overly say thank you. When you have to offer correction on a task, thank them for being open to learning. These are the conversations what they will remember.
  • Remember how hard it can be to ask for help – skills do not come naturally and need to be taught then reiterated over time.
  • Going back to the fact that these are kids – and the majority of their lives are out of their control… Many students may only have access to computers or desktops at school and work – studies show that urban youth (i.e. the population that Cristo Rey serves) typically only have access to smartphones phones at home. So, there may be a technology learning gap. A fax machine?? They have never seen one of those outside of work study orientation. Don’t make it a big deal in the moment, when you have to explain what something is, and how it works, believe me – these interactions will remind you of your age - you can feel old later! Those moments while lighthearted and seemingly comical on the surface, can feel unintentionally othering on the opposite end. We are all just trying to learn together.

The commitment we have made to our Cristo Rey students is not an easy one and I commend each of you for continuing to pour our time, energy, resources and financial support into students that – when put in the right room and armed with the right tools – are destined to do great things. I can honestly say, without irony, I would not be where I am today without the work and invest of the teacher, administrators, and Work Study partners from my alma mater, Cristo Rey St. Martin.  

Thank you to them, to Ann, and thank you to you all.