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Providing students of modest economic means with a college preparatory education aimed at helping young men and women develop the habits of mind and spirit that will enable them to be successful in college, in their careers, and in life.

Providing meaningful opportunities for professionals to interact with and mentor students while making a difference in their lives. Over 100 Cleveland-area businesses, firms, and non-profits have partnered with Saint Martin.

Saint Martin invites students into our school community who are committed to academic, spiritual, social, emotional, and physical growth. During the admissions process, Saint Martin reviews academic, disciplinary, and attendance records, as well as teacher recommendations.

While we are serious about preparing students for college and career success, we also believe that school should be fun! Caring for the whole student, we believe that involvement in extracurriculars is essential to continuing to form talented, well-rounded, and interesting individuals.

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Expeditors International: Meet Jayla Vinson '21

Tucked away from the daily hustle and bustle that surrounds Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is a company that is known worldwide for its airfreight expertise, Expeditors International. Expeditors was founded in Seattle in 1979 and has grown to over 300 locations all over the globe, including right here in Cleveland. The company specializes in providing a full menu of air logistics solutions for shipments around the world and for a wide variety of industries. Expeditors is the broadest Corporate Work Study partner in the Cristo Rey Network, employing students in 16 schools across the country, with two more in the works under letters of intent!

“We have a social responsibility program called 'Opportunity Knocks' and Cristo Rey falls right into that,” said Niccole Colson, Expeditors Regional Security Health and Safety Manager. “Our goal is to find individuals who wouldn’t have normally been exposed to a professional business atmosphere and bring them in based on their attitude and not their skillset. We really help mentor them on the skills and encourage them to go through college programs to earn their degree.”

Saint Martin is one of those fortunate schools where our students can call Expeditors their work home, including Jayla Vinson ’21. Now in her second year, the sophomore has really fit in well with the staff, and has become part of their family. “Jayla is always smiling, has a great attitude at work, is ambitious, and always ready to get things done,” said Colson. “She has done a wonderful job of getting acclimated, and really communicating with everybody, while taking on multiple tasks.”

Jayla’s favorite part of her job is annotating documents, highlighting certain pieces of information so co-workers can readily find what is needed. That is not all she does though as she can also be seen scanning and indexing forms throughout the day. She has a wonderfully out-going personality, but it wasn’t always that way. “It’s been great, I can definitely say this has helped with my communication,” she said. “I am the type of person that if I don’t feel comfortable asking for something, I won’t do it, I’ll just figure it out. But the more I work here and communicate with people in order to get my work done, it has helped me communicate in other areas too like with my teachers.”

“Her growth has been exponential, especially on the social side,” added Colson. “It can be very intimidating when you enter a professional workplace, so typically students are shy, but she got comfortable, knows what to do and is mature enough to have conversations with her co-workers.”

Saint Martin currently partners with over 130 professional organizations all around our region through the Corporate Work Study Program. It is a major factor as to why Jayla chose to be a Lion. “I became interested in Saint Martin because of CWSP and the opportunity to work at the company even after you graduate.” Colson has had the good fortune of working closely with many students and has become one of the work study programs biggest ambassadors. “I think Saint Martin does such a good job partnering with the workforce, bringing us in early in the year so we understand what our expectations should be,” she said. “We are investing in the future, we are investing in the workforce that will be able to apply for jobs in the next 4-8 years, and it is very rewarding.”

If your organization would like to know more and become engaged in the Corporate Work Study Program, just visit our CWSP page here.

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