By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A North Philadelphia high school held a very special NFL-draft style ceremony on Thursday, where hundreds of students got notice of their new “job.”

This is not the average back to school party. Instead, students walked into a standing ovation, a drum roll, and so much more.

Signing Day at Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School is the day students find out the place where they’ll be working, yes working, all school year.

“Every student has a job and goes to work five days a month,” said Joanna Wusiniach, Cristo Rey’s Work Study Coordinator.

She says Cristo Rey partners with 90 different companies across the region, and each employs students from the school. The money they earn pays 65% of their tuition.

“It’s overwhelming, that’s all I can say. It’s a big company,” said freshman Ameerah Flamers, who received her first job ever at PECO.

In addition to work experience, students gain mentors, communication skills, and confidence.

“It was a good opportunity for me, I came from nothing to something,” said sophomore Elijah Warner.

Warner worked in the Comcast IT department last year; this year he’ll be at Albert Bernstein.

“It helped me learn how to act in a professional environment. It changed me a lot,” he said.

And those changes resulted in a 100% college acceptance rate at Cristo Rey.

“It is our goal to prepare kids for college, to give the option to go to college, and to see what their potential is,” said Wusiniach.

All beginning with this celebration.

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