ATLANTA, Oct. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN), a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, has partnered with the Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Corporate Work Study Program to provide eight high school students with a work/study program during the 2016-2017 school year.
One of the 32 schools in the nationwide Cristo Rey Network, Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a college preparatory high school for underrepresented urban youth. In 2003, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with venture philanthropists B.J. and Bebe Cassin, provided seed funding to promote the replication of the Cristo Rey schools. Through rigorous academics, coupled with real world work experience, Cristo Rey students graduate high school prepared for success in college and in life.
As part of the school's Corporate Work Study Program, each of Aaron's eight sponsored Cristo Rey Atlanta students will work five full days a month at Aaron's corporate office. This educational initiative aims to transform the lives of low-income, underserved students in Atlanta.
"We have already been incredibly impressed by the Cristo Rey students and their enthusiasm to learn and participate in daily work/study opportunities here at Aaron's," said John Robinson, CEO of Aaron's, Inc. "In order to have economically-thriving communities, it's critical that we provide opportunities where young people are prepared and accepted into colleges that will ultimately support a strong career. Aaron's is excited to offer these teens work experience in a fast-paced business environment that they will recall for years to come."
By enrolling in this program, students earn the majority of the cost of their own education, and gain valuable real-world job skills, contacts and experience. Cristo Rey Network students go on to college in record numbers, in large part because of their early exposure to the working world. By matching business interests with the educational and economic needs of lower-income students, the program gives at-risk young people their best chance of overcoming the financial barriers that limit their educational and professional opportunities.
"Many good students from low income families in Atlanta have no hope," said Bill Garrett, President Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School. "The Cristo Rey solution provides a rigorous college preparatory academic environment and surrounds the students with people and resources to drive success to assure that each Cristo Rey graduate is accepted to college."
Aaron's has a long legacy of giving back, a commitment that was started by founder Charlie Loudermilk and continues today through Aaron's Gives (www.AaronsGives.com) philanthropic efforts including Aaron's Foundation, Inc. and the Aaron's Community Outreach Program (ACORP). The Aaron's Foundation, Inc. mission is to commit to strengthening the communities in which Aaron's operates, with a focus on improving the life prospects of at-risk youth. Aaron's provides at-risk youth with the tools, resources and skills to achieve their goals and to become productive, contributing members of their communities.
About Aaron's, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) is a leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of furniture, consumer electronics, home appliances and accessories, and currently has more than 1,930 Company-operated and franchised stores in 47 states and Canada. Progressive Leasing, a leading virtual lease-to-own company, provides lease-purchase solutions through approximately 16,000 retail locations in 46 states. Dent-A-Med, Inc., d/b/a the HELPcard®, provides a variety of second-look credit products that are originated through a federally insured bank. Aaron's was founded in 1955, has been publicly traded since 1982 and owns the Aarons.com, ProgLeasing.com, and HELPcard.com brands. For more information, visit www.aarons.com.
About Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School is a Catholic learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of faith, purpose, and service. Cristo Rey Atlanta is located at 680 W. Peachtree St. N.W., Atlanta, Georgia 30308, and is part of the Cristo Rey Network.
About the Cristo Rey Network
The Cristo Rey Network provides a quality, Catholic, college preparatory education to young people who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Our mission is clear – college success for Cristo Rey Network students. Member schools utilize a rigorous academic model, supported with effective instruction, to prepare students with a broad range of academic abilities for college. Cristo Rey Network schools employ an innovative Corporate Work Study Program that provides students with real world work experiences. Every student works five full days a month to fund the majority of his or her education, gain job experience, grow in self-confidence, and realize the relevance of his or her education. Students work at law firms, banks, hospitals, universities, and other professional Corporate Partners.
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SOURCE Aaron's, Inc.