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Mentorship in Action: Cristo Rey Atlanta Students Gain Hands-On Experience at Kimley-Horn

Kimley-Horn and Cristo Rey Atlanta Students

The Cristo Rey Network, made up of 38 Catholic schools across the country, is committed to preparing economically disadvantaged students for college and beyond through a rigorous educational curriculum and real-life work experience. Their Corporate Work Study Program requires each student to work five days a month in a professional work environment, and the work sponsors provide students with compensation by helping to fund their tuition.

Kimley-Horn’s involvement with Cristo Rey began in 2014 when several employees, including Cristina Pastore, AICP, PE, Melissa Duyar, PE, CFM and Debbie Wilson, AICP, joined the mentorship program at the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. Inspired by the group’s continuous efforts over time, the firm’s leadership and The Kimley-Horn Foundation joined the school’s Corporate Work Study Program, supporting our volunteers’ desire to expand their involvement and impact.

Building Relationships, One Student at a Time

Over the last two years, Cristina and teammate, Allison Laber, EIT, have supported a close relationship between Kimley-Horn and Cristo Rey Atlanta through the Corporate Work Study Program. They collaborate with supervisors to develop engaging work for the four Cristo Rey students that work as interns in the Atlanta Midtown office.

“We strive to provide an enriching environment where the students can find value in their work. It’s a meaningful opportunity for us, outside of our regular workload, to spend time with awesome students and invest in the future generation.”

Throughout the Corporate Work Study Program, the students learn about the basics of planning and engineering at Kimley-Horn while being fully immersed in the world of STEM. Engaging young students who face financial barriers to quality education promotes new ideas and unique perspectives, increasing diversity and inclusivity throughout the STEM industry. Additionally, the students are exposed to a variety of business-focused teams throughout the firm, including HR, marketing, accounting and finance, IT, and more. As the students test their critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity in a professional work environment, they also develop valuable experiences they will carry into their future industries and personal careers.

​​​​​​​The Cristo Rey volunteers received a Kimley-Horn Foundation grant along with the Harold D. Vick award in 2017—each year, the award recognizes an employee or group of employees for their outstanding commitment to community service in honor of one of Kimley-Horn’s long-time leaders, Harold D. Vick. Throughout the 2022-2023 school year so far, nearly 50 Kimley-Horn employees have invested more than 400 hours in the professional futures of the students at Cristo Rey.


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