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Celebrating the accomplishments of the Cristo Rey San Jose 22-23 Corporate Work Study young professionals!

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By: Marc Benoit, Vice President, Tools, Integrations and Developer Relations

The Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School & Corporate Work Study Program (CRSJ-WSP) 2022-2023 academic year has drawn to a close and it’s the perfect time to thank all of the CRSJ-WSP young professionals, their families, the CRSJ staff and the Palo Alto Networks supervisors, mentors and team members who supported the students this year! 

As the executive sponsor of Palo Alto Networks Latinx employee network group, Juntos, I was thrilled to learn that we are involved with the CRSJ-WSP and was eager to author a recap of outcomes from the current year. One of 38 schools in the national Cristo Rey network providing a blend of academic enrichment and professional work experience to prepare youth to succeed, CRSJ-WSP matched 14 young professionals with supervisors at Palo Alto Networks from a variety of functions ranging from accounting and engineering to communications and operations. Not only did the students learn skills, they helped produce outcomes for their teams. I watched and listened with excitement and pride as they presented highlights (live and in-person) about themselves, their projects and lessons they learned during a recent “Capstone Event.” Here’s what several youth had to say about their experience. 

“This is my first year in the program and I thought I was going to have difficulty balancing school and professional work, but the year ended well at Palo Alto Networks. I learned new skill sets and was able to experience things that most kids my age don’t have the opportunity to.” - Kendra R. (9th grade)

“This year, I helped the Treasury Team manage and track bank wires and ACH debit block, helped create Google Forms and Sheets for my team, helped with the weekly activity report folders, storage inventory, scanning documents and more.” - Ariana G. (12th grade) 

“I’m a junior and this is my first placement, but I've learned and grown so much with the help of my supervisors Hannah and Brenda in a short amount of time about social media and marketing.” - Leo M. (11th grade) 

“This year, I created calendar invites and expense reports, assisted with all-hands decks and more for the Accounting Department.” - Emily E. (11th grade)

During the Capstone, parents and supervisors were also moved by the reflections from the youth and inspired by their accomplishments and lessons learned. 

“We want to thank the supervisors, mentors and Palo Alto Networks for supporting our children, for giving them real-life experiences that they would otherwise not have.” -Elizabeth Ruiz, student parent. 

“It is amazing to be able to make a positive impact during our crazy busy life! Those students WILL impress you and make your life more meaningful as long as you try to work with them!“ -Brenda Wu, Campaign Manager, Firewall 

“Being a mentor to a Cristo Rey student was one of the most fulfilling experiences in my career. I was able to provide support and direction and watch my mentee evolve and grow along the way. I would encourage more Palo Alto Networks employees to mentor a Cristo Rey student.” -Julie Marquez-Director, InfoSec Strategic Initiatives 

We want to congratulate Cristo Rey San Jose’s Class of 2023 as this academic year, for the first time in the school’s history, 100% of the graduating CRSJ seniors were accepted into four-year colleges and universities! This is a testament to the work and commitment from CRSJ-WSP staff, corporate partners, community partners, students and their families. 

True to our culture at Palo Alto Networks, a large cohort of supervisors and mentors were involved and deserve recognition. Thank you Aletxy Tynan, Alfredo Corral, Anand Oswal,  Angela Gorospe, Angela Robertson, Ann Hoang, Brenda Wu, Brianna Pistor, Bryant Park, Catherine Portman, Daniela Buendia, Darren Percell, Hannah Rushton, Hien La, Jacob Gilford, Jeff Rangel, Jennifer Yarbrough, Jesse Villareal, John Martinez, Josiah Peedikayil, Julie Chiu, Julie Marquez, Kathryn Kasprow, Kent Nichols, Kumar Ramachandran, Lahary Ravuri, LaTrece Johnson, Lindsay Fazzino, Mario Sanchez, Mark Gosling, Monica Refy, Natalie Fakhreddine, Navneet Singh, Nicole Curutchet, Pavan Shivakumar, Ruchira Pungaliya, Sivasekharan Rajasekaran, Smitha Goyal, Thomas Greenley, Vonnie French, Winnie Kaspar, Yuritzi Vargas for making the partnership such a success this year! Gratitude to the CRSJ-WSP staff for tirelessly supporting these young professionals: Sarah Chesson and Celeste Giustie.

This was our fifth year hosting CRSJ-WSP students and we’re actively recruiting supervisors for the upcoming school year. We hope you're inspired to support CRSJ-WSP!


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