A Decade of Student Assistance at Catholic Charities Helping Houstonians

Cristo Rey Jesuit students working at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston have an opportunity to earn part of their tuition while also helping Houstonians in need. Catholic Charities, whose motto is “People of Faith. Helping People in Need” is one of Cristo Rey Jesuits 170 corporate partners, and one of 10 founding partners that has been with Cristo Rey Jesuit since its doors opened in 2009.

“One of our goals is to get the students interested in the field of human services, while gaining experience working for a non-profit,” said Cynthia Colbert, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “Hiring Cristo Rey Jesuit students fits with the organization’s mission and values to support the Houston community.”

Catholic Charities is working in tandem with Cristo Rey Jesuit to accomplish the school’s mission to form  men and women for others as well. Students are exposed to the field of social services “so they can be part of an organization that provides caring, compassionate services and advocates for social justice,” Colbert said. “By helping students learn job skills and educating them about the social justice issues we encounter at Catholic Charities, we are helping them later in life.  We hope the students leave here understanding how important their work is to the community.”

Typically, when the students start working at Catholic Charities, they are shy and timid; however, they eventually become confident, open up, and start to ask questions, according to Jenny Hernandez, Office Manager, who supervises students. When they are on-boarded, they are given options as to which department they might want to work in based on departmental requests for student workers and on the interests of each student. “Employees are incredibly grateful for the students’ help. It’s important that the students feel part of our team,” Hernandez said.

“Cristo Rey Jesuit students are a good resource for us. They have an incredibly positive impact on our program,” Hernandez continued. “We’re always excited when September rolls around so we can start working with our students. We count on them.”

“I try to find out what the student’s interests are and what they like to do in school, and then we help them develop their skills,” said Stephanie Gutierrez, Counseling Office Manager, who also supervises students.  “We find out what careers they are interested in and then we provide the tools they need to become successful. You can’t help but become invested in the students and concerned about their well-being.”

When asked about the benefit of being a corporate partner, Colbert said, “Being a corporate partner gives us an opportunity to give back by investing in tomorrow’s workforce. Another benefit is the positive impact the students have on our employees. Student workers can be your company’s greatest ambassadors.”

Colbert explained that it takes a team of people, including the help of Cristo Rey Jesuit students, to provide the network of services supporting those in need. “It takes staff members, volunteers, and Cristo Rey Jesuit students to meet the needs of 100,000 people,” Colbert said. “The students help Houstonians who are suffering through real-world issues — everything from immigration to mental health issues. The Cristo Rey Jesuit students are a blessing!”

Thank you Catholic Charities for giving Cristo Rey Jesuit students an opportunity to help fellow Houstonians in need. For more information about services provided by Catholic Charities, please visit