Since Nativity Jesuit opened in 1993, families have come to trust Nativity Jesuit’s Graduate Support Program as the depth of the program has increased.
Key Elements of the Graduate Support Program
The Graduate Support Program is staffed by a full-time program coordinator who tracks Nativity Jesuit’s graduates throughout high school, acting as an extension of each student’s family and working cooperatively with the high-performing schools they attend. The program is not intended to replace the role of families. Rather, the program partners with families as stakeholders in the lives of their children and advocates for what is in the best interest of students. We work alongside parents, who may struggle with language barriers, and who may not have graduated from high school themselves, to help students excel after their time at Nativity Jesuit.
An adult mentor is paired with each Nativity Jesuit graduate prior to the start of high school. Mentors form relationships that foster growth and responsibility, and these relationships often last well beyond high school. Through their own professional and social networks, mentors play an important role in transferring social capital to students. Many mentors are Spanish-speaking, which allows them to communicate with both students and parents.
Financial support is provided to assist with high school tuition costs, when necessary. If a student’s family finds that there is a gap between what a high school is offering in terms of financial support and what the family is able to pay, Nativity Jesuit works to bridge that gap with scholarship funds.
Brian Griffiths, Chris Piszczek ’06, and his parents, Elisa and Brian Piszczek
Brian Griffiths and Chris Piszczek ’06 spoke at the 2017 Nativity Jesuit Academy Scholarship Dinner about their experiences in the mentor program. Brian mentored Chris, as well as his brothers Mitchell ’10 and Austin ’15. Brian discussed the positive mentoring experience he had through our robust Graduate Support Program:
“I learned that Chris just started mentoring his first student. That made me feel great because I know he will do an outstanding job in that role. I hope when Mitch and Austin are ready that they will become mentors, too. They each embody the mission of this school and the promise it represents. Nativity has been an important part of my life for a long time and it is exciting to see how the school has grown and transformed.”
The Graduate Support Program is made possible in part by a grant from the Catholic Community Foundation.