The relationship that the Chairman of the Board of Sanchez Energy, Tony Sanchez Jr., has developed with Cristo Rey Jesuit goes beyond the 10 years since the establishment of the school. It goes back to his more than 40-year friendship with Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez, the father of our Founding President, Fr. TJ Martinez, SJ. The relationship with Cristo Rey Jesuit was strengthened by the rapport Fr. Martinez developed with Mr. Sanchez’s son, Eduardo Sanchez, who is Co-President of Sanchez Oil and Gas, and who was once a Cristo Rey Jesuit board member.
Photos by Carmody Baker Photography
Sanchez Energy is one of the school’s 10 founding partners that has supported Cristo Rey Jesuit since the school was established in 2009. “As soon as I learned about the Cristo Rey Jesuit model years ago, we agreed almost immediately to be involved,” said Sanchez, who was the school’s commencement speaker in 2014. “We had been waiting for an opportunity to help children from low-income areas because these children don’t usually have an opportunity to see corporate Houston.
“The Corporate Work-Study Program offers an opportunity of a lifetime,” Sanchez continued. “These students get to see how oil and gas companies work; what it’s like to work in an accounting or engineering department. At Sanchez Energy we have all of the students work in all of the departments so they’ll get the exposure they need. For example, in our engineering department, they work with drilling engineers in the control room; they see how it all happens.”
The Sanchez family has supported Cristo Rey Jesuit in numerous ways, including the awarding of the A.R. “Tony” Sanchez, Jr. and Tani Sanchez Presidential Medal of Excellence for Academics & Intellect every year at graduation. It is awarded to the senior who exemplifies the Graduate at Graduation Intellectually Distinguished value.
Several students continue to remain part of the Sanchez family after graduating from Cristo Rey Jesuit. Currently, five CRJ graduates work at Sanchez Energy while attending college.
CRJ alumna Priscilla Hernandez is currently attending the University of Houston studying Human Resource Development with a minor in Management Information Systems. As a ninth grader at Cristo Rey Jesuit, Hernandez was in awe as she entered an office building for the first time to begin her corporate work-study job. “I was super shy, but after four years at Cristo Rey Jesuit and working at my corporate job, my confidence was boosted.
“My work experience distinguished me at the University of Houston. Each time I hand out my resume at career fairs, they remark about how much work experience I’ve had. It’s definitely been an advantage for me because I attended CRJ,” she said.
While working at Sanchez Energy as a CRJ student, Hernandez came to enjoy engineering and computer science. After working with a great team of people in the IT Department at Sanchez Energy, several of whom offered to help her with her homework, her interest in computer science piqued. Hence, her desire to minor in computer science.
“Sanchez Energy keeps their employees happy,” Hernandez said. “There’s lot of team and morale building, and CRJ students are included in the team-building exercises. We also showcase CRJ students in our employee newsletter. I’m especially proud of them because I once was where they are now and I know firsthand the endless possibilities for their futures.”
“I enjoy seeing the students in the office and asking about their day and checking with them about their grades,” Sanchez said. “The students have great enthusiasm. I don’t know what we’d do without the students. They are part of our family. “