Eye-opening visits to Chicago's San Miguel Middle School and Cristo Rey Jesuit High School inspired the founding of Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation. "I felt those models had all the ingredients they needed to be successfully replicated," said B.J. Cassin, co-founder of the Foundation. "I felt strongly that these two models would bring Catholic education back to an economically disadvantaged population."
With the San Miguel and Cristo Rey models in mind, B.J. and Bebe Cassin launched the Cassin Educational Initiative Foundation in 2000 to establish Catholic college-preparatory middle and high schools in economically-challenged communities throughout the country. In 2003, the Foundation partnered with The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the creation of 12 additional Cristo Rey Schools. Today, the Foundation has helped establish over 50 schools, which serve thousands of children in communities throughout the nation.
Cassin is also a notable donor to the minority recruitment and retention program of his alma mater, College of the Holy Cross, to ensure that a quality Catholic education is available to students of diverse backgrounds. Most recently, B.J. co-founded The Drexel Fund, a national fund providing start-up capital and advisory support for new, high-quality, financially sustainable faith-based and private schools.