Late last year, Southern Company presented a $105,000 combined donation from Southern Company, Georgia Power and Southern Company Gas to Cristo Rey Atlanta, a Jesuit-sponsored high school for students from lower-income family areas.
David Slovensky, vice president and associate general counsel for district operations, and Chris Collier, talent acquisition director, presented the donations to Cristo Rey students at the school's current location on West Peachtree Street in Atlanta.
The current location, established in 2015, is located in a three-story building that used to house the chancery of the Atlanta Archdiocese. Only large enough for 400 students and with a lease expiring in June 2018, the school is moving to a new location next year, which will allow the school to serve up to 550 students – a more than 30 percent increase.
The funds donated by Southern Company will be used to assist Cristo Rey's capital campaign in opening and outfitting its new 70,000-square-foot school at 222 Piedmont Avenue, the former headquarters of Oxford Industries, Inc. The four-story school – that can be seen from the downtown connector – is close to public transportation, which is integral for the students coming into the city from 10 metro counties. The location will also provide needed classroom and science lab space and accommodate future growth.
A second phase of construction will provide the school with a sports and fine-arts complex once funds are raised.
Business partners, such as Southern Company, Coca-Cola, Delta and UPS, work in conjunction with the school in a work-study program. Students work one day a week to gain real-world experience, and income generated from that program, about 70 percent, helps support the school.