The Cristo Rey Jesuit High School community unites people from across Baltimore City who have one thing in common: a commitment to the bright futures of our students. A group of advocates, dubbed the Leadership Advisory Council (LAC), join together each spring to plan the school’s signature event to raise scholarship funds for CRJ. We sat down with Frank McShalley, of Transamerica, to talk to him about his experience as a volunteer on the LAC.
How long have you been volunteering for Cristo Rey Jesuit and what is your role?
I’ve been doing this for four years on the Council. At first I was very intimidated. I thought the person sitting next to me [on the Council] is so well-connected and I thought, you know, what do I have to bring to this? I know some people and I can reach out…I have to ask [for support for CRJ] from now on. You just never know what will happen if you just pick up the phone.
This year it was personal. I felt like it was time to step up. Transamerica is a Corporate Internship Program Partner-we have student interns-and this year we wanted to do more.
“…you have to see what’s going on at Cristo Rey and what it’s doing for the community and the City of Baltimore.”
This year, Transamerica is a $10,000 Feature sponsor of Stand Up for Students. Why do you think this event is important to your organization and to the community?
Awareness. It is important to have an event to create awareness and let people know what’s going on [at CRJ]. People don’t know what’s going on – you just hear of the bad things going on in Baltimore and you just get tired of hearing about that. What I do is spread the word about the school and say ‘you have to see what’s going on at Cristo Rey and what it’s doing for the community and the City of Baltimore.’
It’s a wonderful thing. It’s an awesome place. When [students] graduate they’ve already got experience in the work place. They’ve met people, they have contacts, they have experience, they’re learning what [the workplace] is all about, and they’re helping us, which is huge.
What are you most looking forward to at the event on May 6th?
Just the excitement, seeing students there, and watching other people’s reactions to what a great place this is. For the folks at my table to see how incredible this is. Maybe for some people it’s their first time seeing what CRJ is all about. Just laughing and being with people and you know, an event in Baltimore that is a lot of fun.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Stand Up for Students
When: Friday, May 6th, 8 PM
Where: Port Discovery, 35 Market Place, Baltimore, MD 21202
Related reading: a trustee’s perspective:
Why I believe in Baltimore – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-believe-baltimore-20151226-story.html