Alumni-Spotlight

McBride and Medina from the Great Class of 2017, College That Is!
There's no place like home. . .at Cristo Rey


Alumni Spotlight

In keeping with the Cristo Rey tradition of elevating the profile of its alumni, two former students were selected to be speakers for Cristo Rey Kansas City’s 2017 Commencement. As the voice of experience, Cristo Rey’s - Class of 2013 and recent college graduates - Will Medina and Aliyah McBride returned to their alma mater to inspire students.

Aliyah McBride recalled that, “As a 2013 Cristo Rey graduate, I had been given the opportunity to apply to numerous colleges, gain valuable work experience and strengthen my knowledge of my faith.” She reflected that this gave her the courage to pursue higher education.

McBride earned a degree in communications from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and currently works at St. Luke's Hospital as a Family Engagement Specialist. In her address, she admitted that the road was hard and that she, “struggled day in and day out.” When she would get tired or discouraged, she would remember how hard her ancestors worked to ensure her this opportunity. She had access.  She owed them perseverance.

In addition to working, McBride’s next step is to pursue a graduate level degree.

Will Medina pointed to karma when he shared that his path in college led him to a degree in education. “Teachers, I just want to apologize,” he said.  “I may have placed my attention on social justice and advocacy more than on my studies. I appreciate you so much more now.”Will Medina - Aliyah McBride

When Medina arrived on campus at Benedictine College, he quickly noted that he was a minority and confessed to contemplating a transfer. He messaged Sister Suzanne Fitzmaurice with his concerns. She came to campus, they went to Dairy Queen and talked about life. Will persevered.

By his sophomore year of college, Will was known as the student that would not back down from any challenge. Will sought out tutors and mentors on campus and, as only he can do, he built a strong network of supportive people.

Medina’s advice to Cristo Rey’s newest grads included, “Life is hard. You gotta be harder. Temptation is real. You can easily lose yourself. You must be resilient.”

This fall, Medina takes another important step as a student teacher in music education. He told us that, “I decided to become a teacher so than I could help mold the minds of tomorrow so that they solve tomorrow’s problems.”