By Alice Kenny
The journey from home to school is an effortless walk for Xavier Cruz, 14, who just strolls around the corner and down the block. But considering where he is going, he may as well be traveling to another world.
Since the sixth grade, Xavier has attended St. Ignatius School, an educational oasis in Hunts Point, a Bronx neighborhood known for rampant crime and grinding poverty.
Now, thanks to the school’s and Catholic Charities’ intervention, Xavier sidesteps the gangs that surround him. Instead he prepares for high school, then college and finally, he says, a career in computer technology to help him pull his family from these streets.