Cristo Rey Boston High School

News & Features » One Goal Many Dreams: Alumnus Alex Bonano's story

One Goal Many Dreams: Alumnus Alex Bonano's story

Congratulations to Alexander Bonano, a 2013 Cristo Rey Boston graduate named a 40 under Forty Alumni in the Cristo Rey Networks* Inaugural list! Cristo Rey Network: 40 Under Forty
“The Cristo Rey Boston Corporate Work Study program has greatly supported my professional journey. Through this program, I learned the importance of professionalism, dedication, and discipline, skillsets that have supported my success during college, graduate school, and my professional career."
Alexander Bonano, CRB ‘13

Alexander Bonano, a 2013 Cristo Rey Boston graduate, was named a 40 under 40 Alumni in the Cristo Rey Networks* Inaugural list! With an alumni list of 25,800 students nationwide, the network noted in its inaugural publication, “These men and women have become leaders in an array of industries, and their personal stories serve as powerful reminders of how education, perseverance, and support can bring about transformative change in lives today and the generations of tomorrow.”

Alex can attest to the power of education. “Coming from a family that highly valued education, I was expected to get good grades. However, Cristo Rey Boston was the first place that challenged me to define what I wanted and realize that I had the power to define my pathway forward.”

Now a Project Manager for the Boston Public Health Commission within the Office of Racial Equity & Community Engagement, Alex partners with internal and external stakeholders to advance a ‘Health Equity in All Policies’ approach in the BPHC and the City of Boston.

Alex noted this role is inspiring for several reasons. “Working at the Boston Public Health Commission allows me to give back to my community and city in important ways that benefit the communities I care deeply about. One of our goals at the Commission is to create opportunities for all residents to attain their fullest health potential, including access to healthy food, health services, education, and more. Additionally, we look to address current policies and/or create new policies that support these goals.”

Interested in how public policy can create "equitable outcomes for all populations in the United States," he noted that often, the viewpoints of marginalized populations in policies and procedures in the healthcare space are not part of the discussion. "When you bring interpersonal relationships into the equation, really working with populations to understand the obstacles they face in accessing healthcare, that's when you can create the most efficient public policies."

He continued, “A medical internship in India while an undergraduate at The College of the Holy Cross initially sparked my interest in public health.”  He witnessed many patients suffering from pesticide poisoning because they were unaware of the need to wear protective equipment while spraying their crops. Simply disseminating this information in local clinics and via other community organizations helps mitigate the impact.  

After graduation, Alex worked at Cristo Rey Brooklyn High School as a Health Educator for two years. He noted the impact that unequal access to preventive health services created in Brooklyn. Understanding the implications of a lack of community voices in public health policy decisions, Alex returned to school at Tuft Medical School to receive his Master’s in Public Health.

Confident that the maturity he developed at Cristo Rey Boston and his experiences as part of the CWSP program have served him well, Alex is grateful for the time he spent at Cristo Rey Boston. “At Cristo Rey Boston, I had to commit to achieving success for myself and then implementing the steps necessary to get to where I wanted to be. Being asked to be a leader, both inside and outside the classroom, set me on a journey of discovery that I am still engaged in. I am excited for my future and curious about what is next.” 
*The Cristo Rey Network comprises 39 career-focused, college preparatory schools that collectively enroll 12,700 students nationwide. The distinctive integration of a rigorous college-focused curriculum with a four-year Corporate Work Study requirement provides an educational environment that equips students with the knowledge and life-long learning skills to excel in their undergraduate and post-graduate lives.