More than a Dream: How One School's Vision is Changing the World: The Cristo Rey Story  

More than a Dream in the Chicago TribuneRead the review
60 MinutesCristo Rey on 60 Minutes
Cristo Rey Network video "Transforming Urban American One Student at a Time"
Eric Hoffer Award Finalist



Reviews & Accolades

"I wish all schools could have chroniclers as able as Kearney to document the inevitable journey, from family to institution, that leaves its imprint on the culture of the school in ways that become lost in the fog of time. What is most notable about the book is its honest willingness to leave all the warts on the story, which are excised from the kinds of commissioned corporate histories that this might have become." (Read full review)
—Marvin Hoffman, Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2008

"The book is an enjoyable read and tells an exciting story of a creative effort that may change the future of Catholic education. I highly recommend it for everyone, but especially for everyone who works in or cares about the Catholic school." (Read full review)
—Daniel S. Mulhall, Catholic News Service

"Cristo Rey is magical. What you see there is hope and optimism.”
—Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

"Cristo Rey schools are remarkable examples of what can happen when dreams meet opportunity.  Cristo Rey graduates are tomorrow’s leaders in industry, education and public service.”
—Richard  J. Durbin, United States Senator & Majority Whip

“An enticing tale of inspiration, improvisation and innovation—not to mention gallons of perspiration. Out of this mix, a great student-centered high school is born and replicated. A testament to the will and wisdom of a hearty lot who believed in poor kids and who had faith that the impossible is possible in urban education.”
—Jerome T. Murphy, Dean emeritus and Harold Howe II Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

"Anyone who cares about improving education should read this book . . . and prepare to be inspired. The Cristo Rey story is proof that a small group of creative individuals who are committed to a mission and willing to take a risk can indeed change the world. In the end, this is a story about mission-driven innovation in education—innovation that is giving thousands of children an opportunity to access high- quality university preparatory education and, just as importantly, an opportunity to spend time with adults they can imagine becoming.”
—Tom Vander Ark, president of the X Prize Foundation

"We hear a lot about what's wrong with our schools. More than a Dream is an inspiring story about a school where things are going right."
—Larry Colton, best-selling author of Counting Coup

"All children deserve the opportunity to enhance their futures through access to quality education. More than a Dream highlights the success of the Cristo Rey school model, an innovative private-partnership tuition payment program that is opening new doors for students in over a dozen schools nationwide.”  
—Chuck Hagel, United States Senator

"Cristo Rey schools are one of the most fascinating and innovative programs in American Catholic education. By combining academic excellence, social responsibility and challenging opportunities for youngsters from disadvantaged families, they present all who enroll with a chance for a better life. I hope these schools will continue to multiply throughout our country.”
—Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington

"All the armies in the world, said Victor Hugo, can’t stop an idea whose time has come. Cristo Rey is one of those ideas, and G. R. Kearney tells the story as only a gifted ‘insider’ could.”
—Fr. Mark Link, SJ, author of the Challenge/Vision 2000 series and founder of

"Kearney paints a vivid picture of education, urban America, and the modern Catholic Church's struggle to live Christ's mission of serving the poor. Cristo Rey schools change children's lives. This is a story that needs to be told.”
—Laura Vanderkam -- member of USA Today's Board of Contributors

"More Than a Dream tells a vivid story of the power of education to change lives. As we as a nation confront the still- growing challenges of ensuring quality educational opportunity in our poorest communities, Cristo Rey provides an important and inspiring model.”
—John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University

"G. R. Kearney brilliantly tells the story of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, an imaginative, creative solution to the problems of urban education today.”
—Newton N. Minow, senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, a proud employer of Cristo Rey students

“More than a Dream is a compelling, fascinating read of how Cristo Rey took root and changed the lives of young people in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.  The students' stories are amazing and deeply moving, the founders' vision profound and faith-filled, the faculty's commitment inspiring and challenging.  Read More than a Dream to learn how one single program can make a difference.”
—Thomas H. Smolich, SJ, president of the Jesuit Conference

"More Than a Dream shines a light into the soul of urban education, illuminating the extraordinary challenges and the breathtaking and transformational results of the Cristo Rey–model schools. This book helps bring to life the Ignatian principle of ‘helping souls’ in the twenty-first century.”
—Darren Jackson, chief financial officer of Best Buy

“Cristo Rey Jesuit High School is one of the most important innovations in Catholic education in recent decades.”
—Rev. John I. Jenkins, CSC, president of University of Notre Dame

“The Cristo Rey high school model can be a model for the nation. It has certainly influenced my thinking on high school reform.”
—Paul Vallas, superintendent of the Recovery School District of New Orleans and former CEO of the Chicago Public Schools

“The Cristo Rey model is one of the most successful new educational models of our time. It offers an extremely high quality education combined with great family, faith, and moral values with the best quality of all, hope for the future.”
—Paul Purcell, Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated

"More Than a Dream is a compelling narrative that carries the reader from the moment of creation through the first decade of success of an entirely new kind of school. The Cristo Rey model, designed to help the poor, is now renewing and revolutionizing Catholic secondary education.”
—William J. Byron, SJ, president of St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia, and author of Jesuit Saturdays

“Kearney describes superbly the people and the concepts behind the immensely successful Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and the expansion of the idea through the country. These schools located in impoverished areas have with growing success turned high school–age students with very little chance into winners. It is a must-read about the work of the Lord in today’s America.”
—William J. McDonough,  vice chairman of Merrill Lynch and former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

“Cristo Rey is a wonderful example of ‘Jesuit-style ingenuity’ for the twenty-first century—a fascinating, innovative way to serve a population that (to our country’s disgrace) has not been well enough served by the education system; and G. R. Kearney does a wonderful job in chronicling how this ingenious school system was launched.”
—Chris Lowney, author of Heroic Leadership

“The story of Cristo Rey is one of the most exciting educational success stories in decades. G. R. Kearney’s inspiring and entertaining new memoir offers a behind-the-scenes look at how the Chicago Jesuits and their colleagues revolutionized education for a group of poor Hispanic children in the inner city. Their innovative model, in which students work in real-world jobs during the school year, has spread with astonishing speed across the country. Relive the excitement (and anxiety) of starting a new venture, meet the remarkable students, teachers and administrators who dared to dream a hopeful future, and be reminded how with God all things can be made new.”
—James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints