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#STEMSpotlight: De La Salle North Catholic High School

De La Salle

What is the name of your organization?
De La Salle North Catholic High School

In which city (or cities) is your organization located?
De La Salle North Catholic High School (DLSNC) is located in North Portland. DLSNC is one of 37 Cristo Rey schools across 24 states creating one of the largest networks of high schools in the country with the mission to provide quality education for low-income families and students. 

Describe your organization and its mission.
The unique Corporate Work-Study Program (CWSP) has been the key to DLSNCs’ success for over 20 years. All students attend school four extended days a week while working five days a month at one of our 80 plus local corporate partners, all of who share our passion and commitment to help mentor and coach young adults towards future success. This synergistic approach between education and the life skills learned on ‘the job’ has enabled DLSNC to successfully graduate between 98-100% of their students for over 15. (Ninety-six percent of DLSNC students have gone on to secondary education.) In addition, the CWSP helps families to offset 50% of the cost of their student’s tuition – the CWSP program provides a hand up not a handout. 

What’s been the biggest challenge?
Sharing our story of success, to ensure students, families and Portland business know about our program and know how they too can participate. 

Your proudest moment?
Having the honor to introduce students to a myriad of career opportunities, watching their determination as they navigate their road to success and the reward of seeing them achieve their dreams. A perfect example: Nick Tucker / BORA

What are the short and long-term goals for your organization?
To provide a safe environment for all students to receive a rigorous academic education while developing the critical soft skills to succeed in college and the workforce. To introduce corporate America to their future workforce by providing the opportunity to help guide, coach, and mentor possible future employees 

How can TAO and community members support your work?
I think Don Spear’s says it best – 

“At OpenSesame, we believe that a diverse workforce and different perspectives result in better solutions and services for our customers. However, hiring a diversity of employees can be a challenge in the tech community today, particularly in Portland. OpenSesame became a CWSP Partner to help expose more young people to challenging roles and inspire them to become tech professionals. The more interest in the tech community we can help foster amongst diverse high school students, the more likely a more diverse workforce will be available as we are hiring. Please join us in building the future leaders of the Portland tech community by joining the CWSP program.”
Don Spear, CEO – OpenSesame Inc.

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