De La Salle North folder
Christine Trinh, Bethany Purkapile and Lorena Hernandez at De La Salle North Catholic.
De La Salle North folder
Christine Trinh, Bethany Purkapile and Lorena Hernandez at De La Salle North Catholic.
Being part of a larger network gives De La Salle North Catholic High School students unique opportunities. When De La Salle North opened in Portland, it was the first school in the nation to replicate a model conceived by a Jesuit priest in Chicago who found a way to fund high-quality college preparatory education for underserved students with a corporate internship program. The Cristo Rey Network, now 24 schools, was founded.

Over time, the network has developed formal partnerships with universities, many of them Catholic, that want to continue helping students attain a more hopeful future through education. Two schools in particular, Georgetown University and Fairfield University, now offer summer college-prep programs for network students, including students at De La Salle North, who seek to bolster their preparation for college life and equip them to successfully navigate the new environment.

Last summer, four De La Salle North students attended two programs where they lived in dorms, met current students, attended classes and participated in college-prep workshops.

“These programs are a wonderful opportunity for our students to visit colleges, explore college options, and get first-hand experiences with college professors and staff," said Barbara Ward, De La Salle North’s college counselor. “For two of our students, this was their first time on an airplane.”

“The program gave me true insight into what college life is really like, by experiencing it directly. I went to classes and also had to extend myself and meet people,” said Bethany Purkapile, a De La Salle Senior who attended the Fairfield University program.

Senior Christine Trinh added, “My exciting time at Georgetown gave me motivation to attend college. It took away the fear. I also became aware of the abundant opportunities that await me in the fall, wherever I go.”  

Three graduates of De La Salle North are currently attending Georgetown, one of the sites of the summer programs.