A guest at our school noticed them right away – the blue and silver ties that some of the students are wearing. They are different than the black and gold ties that are a regular part of the Cristo Rey Jesuit uniform.
What’s up with these ties?
Even our freshmen can tell you about this CRJ tradition: When a senior receives a college acceptance letter, he or she gets a special senior tie in the class colors to wear for the remainder of the school year. The ties are awarded in Monday assembly in front of the whole school community.
Now that it’s January and acceptance letters are arriving regularly, blue and silver are everywhere.
Sharnice remembers seeing the seniors with their ties when she was a freshman. “I saw people with them and I thought, ‘That’s going to be me in a few years. I can’t wait to get there,’ ” she says. But it was getting accepted into her first choice college — Stevenson University — that made receiving the tie that much more exciting, she admits. Her friend Justine agrees. The tie is awesome, but getting accepted into college is even better.
How did the tie tradition get started?
From the beginning, Cristo Rey Jesuit has been a college preparatory school. The teachers and staff who founded the school wanted to make that a big deal.
“We started talking to other schools in the Cristo Rey Network for ideas that would foster a college-going culture in our school,” said Father John Swope, President. “The tie was something other Cristo Rey schools did. We borrowed the idea, and the ties have created a lot of positive emotion around class identity and aspiring to college.”
In other words, the tie is so much more than a tie, said Ms. Gina King, Director of College Counseling. “The path to college is complicated and requires students to be on top of their game at all times,” she said. “For me, the tie is about the characteristics the kids embody to get this far. If they have a tie, they have consistently performed on all levels. They have a lot to be proud of.”