LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A big congratulations are in order for the first graduating class of Cristo Rey St. Viator College Preparatory High School. 

The catholic, private school opened in 2019. Its 56 seniors began with a pandemic freshman year, and end with a historic tassel turn. All of the seniors have been accepted into four-year universities, with more than $10 million in scholarships between them. 

Ninety-six percent of the students are of color, with a majority being Latino. 

Principal Erica Romero said the Cristo Rey network’s mission is to provide private education for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. 

Principal Erica Romero. (KLAS)

The school’s valedictorian, Anthony Sifuentes, will attend Stanford University for medicine in the fall. Between university scholarships, connections, and financial aid through the Cristo Rey network, Sifuentes said his family is not paying out of pocket for college. 

He said it was “a huge break” for his family. He is the oldest of four kids, and the first generation to attend college. 

“My family was low-income, my parents kept pushing me,” Sifuentes said. “I had support and I made a name for myself.”

Besides being a college prep academy with AP courses, Principal Romero said the 260 students go through a corporate work study program. The students work one day a week with different professionals in the area.

“It gives them them opportunity to get real-life skills and exposure to different career paths,” Romero said. 

Sifuentes works with a federal judge. He previously worked with a law office. 

“Even though I’ve been working in law areas, I am still getting the critical thinking skills I will need as I go into medicine,” Sifuentes said. He said he’s grateful for the communication and analytical thinking skills he’s gained as well. 

Tuition is income based and ranges from $25 to $250 a month. The students also get a boost from the work study program. 

“Corporate work partners pay for students and that goes toward tuition, to offset the cost of attending a catholic school,” Principal Romero said. 

St. Viator, off Van Der Meer Street and Las Vegas Boulevard, is the first and only Cristo Rey School in Nevada. Principal Romero explained the network does a feasibility study, speaking to elementary and middle schools nearby and puts its campuses in underserved areas. Sifuentes said a recruiter came to his school and peaked his interest.  

“It’s an opportunity unlike any other,” Sifuentes said. 

If you are interested in attending, the school accepts applications for freshman and sophomore students. There is not a GPA requirement, but you do need to have good grades and attendance. The application process includes references from past teachers and an interview.