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Students walked down a stage shaking hands with Fort Worth business leaders. Family members cheered, rang cowbells and waved pompoms, fanning themselves with whatever they could find while doing so. 

In a loud — and hot — auditorium overfilled with family, faculty and Fort Worth business leaders, Cristo Rey Fort Worth kicked off its 2023-24 school year Aug. 24 with an NFL-style draft day.

The Draft Day matches Cristo Rey students up with the businesses where they will intern as part of the school’s work study program. 

More than 70 corporate partners joined students, staff and North Texas personalities like WFAA’s Marc Istook for the event at Cristo Rey Fort Worth, 2633 Altamesa Blvd. 

The campus is part of a 38-school national network that provides students a college prep education, while giving them access to work and career experience in a corporate setting.

Students underwrite half the cost of their education by working one day a week in clerical and administrative roles for corporate sponsors who offer employment experience in a variety of departments. 

Those many different opportunities open to students are critical to their education, seniors Leone Kimani, Jouselyn Garcia and Ethan Arreguin said.

“Some college students go into college and they don’t know what they want to be until their junior, maybe their senior year,” Garcia said. “I am 17, and I actually know what I’m good at, what I’m bad at and what I want to do.” 

Matthew Sgroi is a reporting fellow for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Matthew Sgroi is the 2022-23 Fort Worth Report multimedia fellow. He can be reached at or (503)-828-4063. Sgroi is a current senior at Texas Christian University, majoring...