You could not ask for a more spectacular day! Saturday, May 4th was picture perfect as Christ the King Prep joined forces with two other non-profit educational institutions, Shepherds of Youth, a charitable trust which supports St. Michael’s School in Newark, and the United States Hispanic Advocacy Association (USHAA), in a collaborative effort to benefit the young people of greater Newark. With our three groups united for our first joint venture, we are making an impact in the education of urban youth from kindergarten through college.
As a member of the Cristo Rey Network, CtK Prep is guided by 10 Mission Effectiveness Standards. Our participation in this joint activity helps us to fulfill Standard #3 which states that, along with being family centered, we will play an active role in the local community.
Joined by some members of our newly formed Leadership Advisory Council (LAC), nearly 100 active hikers made their way down the trail at State Line Lookout in the beautiful Palisades Interstate Park, in Alpine, NJ. The four mile hike took us from the heights of the Palisades down to the riverfront along the Hudson and back up again! It was truly heart-warming to see the joy in our students' faces as they stood high above the Hudson River taking in the expansive view. For many, this was the first time they were able to see the beauty that exists in New Jersey beyond the cityscape in which they live. What a pleasure it was to provide so many with this lasting memory.
Thank you to our many supporters who helped us raise
over $10,000 in our first Hike for Education!
Sponsored in part by our friends at Capital One Bank, CtK hosted its spring musical Godspell. Based on the Parables and the story of Christ’s Passion from Matthew’s Gospel, the ensemble cast of thirteen was led by Junior, Michael Jiminez as Jesus and Junior, Michael Campbell-Vincent in the dual roles of John the Baptist and Judas. Performances took place on Thursday, May 2nd and Friday, May 3rd in the lower hall at Immaculate Conception Church.
Act One opened with John the Baptist beckoning all to “Prepare Ye the Way” of the Lord as he baptized each in the cast. All become followers of Jesus and through the parables they begin to understand Jesus and his teachings. “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” teaches “not to make a show of religion before men”. The story of the poor beggar Lazarus and the rich man explains that the reward in heaven is far greater than any earthly possession. When reacting to the final beatitude telling of Jesus’ persecution, Jesus persuades the company that it is “All for the Best’ and that heaven contains the ultimate reward. During the telling of these various stories, each cast member had a featured song, backed up by the rest of the ensemble. By the end of Act One this rag-tag company has become a community of love and caring.
Early in Act Two, we learn from Jesus that the greatest commandment is that “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart and soul” and that the second commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself”. After a lighter moment when Jesus separates his flock into sheep and goats, they assemble for the Last Supper. Ms. McCabe, the show's musical director and CtK’s VPA instructor, sang “On the Willows” as the cast moved to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus says goodbye and is handed over by Judas. Upon his arrest, Jesus is tied to an electric fence which symbolizes his crucifixion on the cross. Jesus dies. Then he is carried out by the cast in the Finale.
Joy and laughter filled the hall as the audience was treated to a fun and creative production of this contemporized version of the early 1970’s musical. It is clear that there is no shortage of talent at CtK. Stay tuned to see what we have in store for next spring.
Michael Jiminez as Jesus Michael Campbell-Vincent as John the Baptist/Judas
Katherine Andrade Mark Campbell-Vincent
Jasmine Garnett Amanda Gyan Ken Ignacio
Anggie Luna Katherine Luna Jamie Mendoza
Christopher Purefoy Alexus Silverio Manuela Yeboah
Alex Alvarado Victor Araromi Tiquajah Bishop Nataliah Brown
Denise Cooper Christopher Dixon Ty-Gena Dozier Maria Flores Armani Hinnant
U-Neisha Logan Michael Lopez Christine Purefoy Karen Solano
Mario Soto Victor Timol Edwin Torres Rahquiyah Williams
Costumes and Set
On loan from the Our Lady of Grace YCT Players
What began as a casual conversation last October, developed into an idea that became a transformative experience for six CtK students. During our President’s Gala last fall, CtK Senior, Victor Araromi, was sharing his passion for history with CtK Social Studies teacher, Joseph Toma and CtK Board Member Monica Oliver. This conversation was followed by several months of conference calls and emails between Monica and Joe. The culmination of this resulted in the opportunity for a small group of students to visit the sacred Battlegrounds of Gettysburg, PA, April 26th – 28th.
Seniors, Wendy Alvarez and Victor Araromi, and Sophomores, Michael Barrett, Victor Obi, Jennifer Quezada and Wesley Stroud were the six students who travelled with Mr. Toma and CtK English teacher, Rev. Jason Coalter, along with Monica and Bill Oliver who sponsored the trip. These students were selected based on their first semester averages in U.S. History and English or if they were in the AP U.S. History course. The itinerary was meticulously discussed to provide each student with an experience that would carry with them forever.
Here is some feedback from this trip:
“There I was, standing on the fields where one of the most popular battles in history took place. It was almost religious as I stood there thinking to myself ‘Am I really here?’” was Victor Araromi’s reaction. He went on to say, “The best part of the Gettysburg trip was being able to learn history and hear stories outside of the confines of the traditional classroom walls. We were also privileged to visit some of the best museums I have ever been to. In addition, I was really inspired by the people from past generations that spoke to me about being in charge of the future. The all too familiar quote ‘Be the change you would like to see in the world’ became a reality to me. I was inspired to not only make a change in myself, but a change in the world around me. Being able to hear the oral stories at the Black History Museum reinforced in me the pride that comes with being of African descent through the constant ages of darkness and struggles. I would like to give a special thank you to everyone that made the Gettysburg trip a possibility.”
Jennifer Quezada shared, “it was a privilege to go on this trip. I was able to gain a different perspective of the Civil War. It felt as if I was there through it all. What amazed me was how certain homes had holes in them because of the bullets that were shot during the Civil War. I even gained an insight on how not everyone was given the recognition that they deserved for what they did to contribute or help during the war. My favorite part was the painting, Gettysburg Cylcorama – Pickett’s Charge because of the affect it gave and how it looked like it was happening right before your eyes.”
Both Wesley Stroud and Michael Barrett thought this trip was an inspiring experience. Wesley commented, “It opened my eyes to the many things that usually aren’t emphasized when learning about the Civil War.” Michael added, “It allowed me to fully understand the Battle of Gettysburg and the events leading up to it, by visiting battlegrounds, museums and historical landmarks. Although many people believe that African Americans did not play a major part in the Civil War, I discovered that it was a false statement, because many African Americans participated in a tremendous way. After realizing this, it made me feel a sense of pride.”