G.R. Kearney

More than a Dream: How One School's Vision is Changing the World

More than a Dream: How One School's Vision is Changing the World
"Cristo Rey is magical. What you see there is hope and optimism."
-Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

More than a Dream documents the improbable and inspiring start-up and staggering success of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. The book begins with the Jesuits' simple desire to serve the students of Pilsen, a predominantly Latino immigrant neighborhood on the Lower West Side of Chicago, and from there chronicles the trials and tribulations of developing an economically feasible model for the school, the many difficulties faced by the founders in opening the doors, and the school's darkest days, when mounting financial losses resulted in a budget crisis that threatened its very surivial. Most importantly, More than a Dream explores in detail how Cristo Rey altered the trajectory of the lives of four of its students: Leo Maldonado, Maritza Santibáñez-Luna, Joey Garcia, and Mayra Hernandez.

The Cristo Rey story will inspire anyone who has ever wondered if a small group of people can really change the world. It's not a book about education, or business, or the Catholic Church. It's a book about people changing the world and is a must read for teachers, parents, business leaders, politicians, students, and scholars who want to do their part to make the world a better place and who believe it's possible to come up with new and creative solutions to old and particularly vexing problems.

Visit the official book site at www.morethanadreambook.com.

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Reviews & Accolades for More than a Dream

“Cristo Rey is magical. What you see there is hope and optimism.”
Melinda Gates -- Co-Chair of the Gates Foundation

“Cristo Rey schools are remarkable examples of what can happen when dreams meet opportunity.  Cristo Rey graduates are tomorrow’s leaders in industry, education and public service.”
Richard J. Durbin, United States Senator & Majority Whip

“Anyone who cares about improving education should read this book ... and prepare to be inspired. The Cristo Rey story is proof that a small group of creative individuals who are committed to a mission and willing to take a risk, can indeed change the world.  In the end, this is a story about mission-driven innovation in education--innovation that is giving thousands of children an opportunity to access high quality university preparatory education and, just as importantly, an opportunity to spend time with adults they can imagine becoming.”
Tom Vander Ark, President, X Prize Foundation

“All children deserve the opportunity to enhance their futures through access to quality education. More than a Dream highlights the success of the Cristo Rey school model, an innovative private-partnership tuition payment program that is opening new doors for students in over a dozen schools nationwide.”  
—Chuck Hagel, United States Senator

“Cristo Rey schools are one of the most fascinating and innovative programs in American Catholic education.  By combining academic excellence, social responsibility and challenging opportunities for youngsters from disadvantaged families, they present all who enroll with a chance for a better life.  I hope these schools will continue to multiply throughout our country.”
Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington

“All the armies in the world, said Victor Hugo, can't stop an idea whose time has come. Cristo Rey is one of those ideas; and G.R. Kearney tells the story as only a gifted "insider" could.”
Fr. Mark Link, SJ, Author of the Challenge/Vision 2000 series and founder of Staygreat.com

“Kearney paints a vivid picture of education, urban America, and the modern Catholic Church's struggle to live Christ's mission of serving the poor. Cristo Rey schools change children's lives. This is a story that needs to be told.”
Laura Vanderkam, member of USA Today's Board of Contributors

“More than a Dream is a compelling, fascinating read of how Cristo Rey took root and changed the lives of young people in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.  The students' stories are amazing and deeply moving, the founders' vision profound and faith-filled, the faculty's commitment inspiring and challenging.  Read More than a Dream to learn how one single program can make a difference.”
Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference

More than a Dream shines a light into the soul of urban education, illuminating the extraordinary challenges and the breathtaking and transformational results of the Cristo Rey model schools. This book helps bring to life the Ignatian principle of “helping souls” in the 21st century.”
Darren Jackson, Chief Financial Officer, Best Buy Co, Inc.

“G.R. Kearney brilliantly tells the story of Cristo Rey High School, an imaginative, creative solution to the problems of urban education today.”       
Newton N. Minow, Senior Counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, a proud employer of Cristo Rey student

“Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is one of the most important innovations in Catholic education in recent decades.”
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President, University of Notre Dame      

More than a Dream tells a vivid story of the power of education to change lives. As we as a nation confront the still growing challenges of ensuring quality educational opportunity in our poorest communities, Cristo Rey provides an important and inspiring model.”    
Dr. John DeGioia, President, Georgetown University

“The Cristo Rey high school model can be a model for the nation. It has certainly influenced my thinking on high school reform.”
Paul Vallas, Superintendent of the Recovery School District of New Orleans and former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools

“Kearney describes superbly the people and the concepts behind the immensely successful Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and the expansion of the idea through the country.  These schools located in impoverished Latino areas have with growing success turned high school-age students with very little chance into winners.  It is a must-read about the Work of the Lord in today's America.”
William J. McDonough, Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch, Former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

“More than a Dream is a compelling narrative that carries the reader from the moment of creation through the first decade of success of an entirely new kind of school. The Cristo Rey model, designed to help the poor, is now renewing and revolutionizing Catholic secondary education.”
William J. Byron, SJ, President, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Philadelphia & author of Jesuit Saturdays

“Cristo Rey is a wonderful example of ‘Jesuit-style ingenuity’ for the 21st century--a fascinating, innovative way to serve a population that has not been well enough served by the education system; and George Kearney does a wonderful job in chronicling how this ingenious school system was launched.” 
Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership

“The story of Cristo Rey is one of the most exciting educational success stories in decades.  George Kearney's inspiring and entertaining new memoir offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the Jesuits of Chicago and their colleagues revolutionized education for a group of poor Hispanic children in the inner city.  Their innovative model, in which students work in real-world jobs during their studies, has spread with astonishing speed across the country.  Relive the excitement (and anxiety) of starting a new venture, meet the remarkable students, teachers and administrators who dared to dream a hopeful future, and be reminded how with God all things can be made new.
James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints

Visit the official book site at www.morethanadreambook.com.




News / Updates
Fr. John P. Foley, SJ, president of the Cristo Rey Network, to speak at Global Educational Summit
Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Featured on 60 Minutes
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