I am both honored and humbled to assume my role as the interim President and CEO here at Cristo Rey De La Salle East Bay High School, St. Elizabeth Campus. My intentions aren’t to make ripples in the wave, rather to add an extra oar to assist us along this journey. We are undergoing a search to fill the President and CEO position; but in the meantime, I wanted to assure you the operations of the school are being well looked after and will continue to thrive.

Picking up the baton has been quite the adventure and I am impressed by the foundation of professionalism that has been bestowed upon our Student Associates. I find myself eager to learn more and more about them every day. I see that beyond their academic studies, they are gaining important character-building experience. For example, for Black History Month, the students were given the following prompt:

What do these words mean to you?
Human Rights – Segregation – Racism – Equality – Diversity

Their answers included:

  • “I think human rights are very important because I think everyone should be treated equally. I think that segregation was horrible and should never be done again. I think racism is bad. Equality is important.”
  • “The word racism means a lot to me. I say that because people can take it down to their heart when they see or hear it. Racism is just a big part in our lives.”

Being immersed in the heart of Oakland has fostered the perfect melting pot of culture and diversity for our students. If our Student Associates are any indication of what the future holds, I am comforted in knowing that we are truly educating young people to become men and women of faith, purpose, and service. I’ll close with a excerpt from a prayer that was first presented by Cardinal Dearden in 1979 and quoted by Pope Francis in 2015.

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.

The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.

Matthew (Matt) Powell,
Former Interim President & CEO