Close to 300 people attended Nativity Prep Academy’s annual Breakfast for Champions May 21 at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar. Nativity Prep, located in southeast San Diego, is an independent college-prep middle school with the unique 11-year mission of serving low-income students who will be the first in their families to graduate from college.
Nativity is one of only three independent private schools in all of California that is non-tuition driven, relying solely on individual benefactors and corporate and foundation grants to support its $1.2 million annual budget.
A percentage of Nativity’s annual costs go toward helping its graduates attend private high schools. As part of its 11-year commitment, from middle school through high school to college, Nativity Prep subsidizes after-aid tuition expenses for its alumni in high school.
Nativity graduates continue to earn admissions to a number of excellent area private schools, including The Bishop’s School, Francis Parker School, The Grauer School, Cathedral Catholic, Our Lady of Peace, Saint Augustine, and Mater Dei Catholic. More than 95 percent of its alumni have gone on to earn their high school education, and nearly 90 percent have matriculated to a two- or four-year college or university, including Saint Mary’s College, UCLA, Yale University, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco, UC Irvine, Creighton, and San Diego State.
Estefania Diaz, a Nativity graduate from the Class of 2006, now a senior at Saint Mary’s College of California, shared her inspiring story at the May 21 event. Estefania noted that both of her parents placed a high value on education for Estefania and her brother and sister, despite their own lack of formal education. With regard to the impact that Nativity had on her early on, she added, “Every day (at Nativity) I was challenged academically and encouraged to think about college and the future.”
After her four-year experience at Nativity, Estefania went on to Francis Parker School and will graduate from Saint Mary’s this month, the first in her family to earn a college degree. She will return to San Diego this summer to begin an internship at a local law firm and begin studying for the LSAT.
“They (Nativity Prep) are always there to help when I need them, and now, 11 years later, they still provide me with the same encouragement to pursue my educational and career dreams,” she said. “I owe a great deal to Nativity for all the help and guidance they have provided over the years because all their help has made it possible for me to be where I am now.”
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Photos by Jon Clark.