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Blue Shield Welcomes Four Work/Study Students From Oakland’s Cristo Rey

Blue Shield is welcoming four high school students from Oakland’s Cristo Rey de la Salle East Bay High School as part of a program that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience.


Blue Shield of California is a founding partner of Cristo Rey and is hosting four students this year. The students, Jonathon Holley, Salaya Whittaker, Katherine Garcia and Jose Barajas will be exposed to the areas of talent acquisition, internal communications, corporate citizenship and employee engagement at Blue Shield. Each student spends five days per month in a professional work setting, earning up to half of his or her annual tuition.

Earlier this year, Blue Shield announced it would move its corporate headquarters to downtown Oakland.

About the Christo Rey work/study program:

  • 69 students enrolled in the founding freshman class of 2022 (anticipated enrollment in four years will be over 500 students).
  • Ethnic makeup inclusive of Oakland and the East Bay’s rich diversity, with large African American, Latino and Vietnamese student groups, among others.
  • Open to students and families of all faith traditions who value a Lasallian Catholic education. 
  • Exclusively serving families with limited incomes. 
  • Providing a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum and Corporate Work Study Program in which students work five days per month in a professional setting.
  • First Catholic High School in the country to implement the personalized Summit Learning curriculum across its entire student body.
  • Part of the nationally recognized Cristo Rey Network of 35 schools across the United States.
  • Governed and operated by the Lasallian District of San Francisco New Orleans, part of the Lasallian Region of North America of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

About Cristo Rey De La Salle

Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School is a Roman Catholic, co-educational, secondary school. It is a diverse, Lasallian Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose and service. A rigorous and personalized college preparatory curriculum integrated with a corporate work study experience prepares students to succeed in college and in life. Cristo Rey De La Salle is located in the Fruitvale district of Oakland on the campus of the former St. Elizabeth High School.