8/11/2010 - The New York Times
“We serve the poor... If they’re not here, then we’ll move to where they are.”
- Fr Jack Podsiadlo
NYN on Redefine Christmas and GodTube!
New York Nativity was recently involved in the Redefine Christmas campaign, encouraging people to give charitable contributions to their friends and loved ones for Christmas. We were honored to be among the highlighted organizations in this nation-wide campaign.
Find more videos like this on Redefine Christmas
NYN in the News!
The New York Province Jesuits recently highlighted NY Nativity in their Winter edition of A Holy Boldness. In it is featured Roberto Rdoriguez, a Nativity Mission School alumnus, as he was awarded the UNITAS Alumni Diversity and Service Award at Union College. The Brooklyn Prep Alumni Association was lauded for keeping the spirit of Jesuit education alive in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Jesuit Prep was highlighted as a "Response to a Real Need.". In addition, the entire Nativity-Miguel Network was showcased, showing how the model started at our very own Nativity Mission Center has grown to be a national effort to break the cycle of poverty through education.
Nov. 4, 2008 is an historic day because it marks the end of an
economic era,a political era and a generational era all at once.
- David Brooks, New York Times
As our nation moves into a new era economically, politically and generationally, I assume
the presidency of the New York Nativity Centers with concern, caution and conviction.
- My concern is for the financial security of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep,
Nativity Mission Center and St. Ignatius School as our once-booming
economy grapples with a period of belt-tighteningcoupled with a
potential decrease in charitable giving.
- The Principals, teachers, administrative staff and I are cautiously
reevaluating expenses so that programs and services continue to be of
quality while costs are kept reasonable.
- But most important, I maintain the conviction that you and thousands of
other individuals, organizations and foundations will continue to be
partners in our mission of assisting young, under-served boys and girls
from lower income families break out of the cycle of poverty through
I am convinced that if you are passionately committed to the students of Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, Nativity Mission Center and St. Ignatius School, you will find the time, talent and treasure to keep our schools the exciting centers of learning they have been in the past. I am most convinced that ours is a work of God. We are all but instruments. The future is in the hands of a loving God who "hears the cry of the poor."
The Board of Trustees of the New York Nativity Centers offered me the position as interim president so that Fr. James Keenan, SJ, could assume the role of Development Director for the New York Province of the Society of Jesus. Fr. David Ciancimino, SJ, Provincial of the New York Province, missioned me to this ministry and I gladly accepted it. I am supported by three very competent principals: Ms. Emily Seelaus: Brooklyn Jesuit Prep; Mr. Luciano Lovallo: Nativity Mission Center; and Dr. Jennifer Gallagher: St. Ignatius School. My professional administrative staff consists of Mr. Glenn Pellino, Assistant to the President; Ms. Susan Goscewski, Director of
Development; and Mr. Anthony Pavan, Financial Officer. The Board of Trustees, chaired by Mr. Jack Raslowsky, ensures both fidelity to the mission and the financial resources to accomplish it. Most of all, you, our faithful friends and supporters, inspire me to do all I can do to see that our schools fulfill the mission entrusted to them.
What do I bring to the task? I was a teacher at Nativity Mission Center in the very early years of its existence, from 1973 until 1979. I returned there as principal and executive director from 1984 until 2001. During that time the interior of the school was renovated, the adjoining property was purchased, the Graduate Support Program was instituted and the creation of other middle schools following the Nativity model across the nation was facilitated. From 2001 until 2007 I directed the Nativity Educational Centers Network and then worked for the NativityMiguel Network of Schools, assisting more than 60 schools committed to the Nativity model.
I trust that God will now guide me to use these experiences in service to our three New York schools as we bravely move into a new economic, political and generational era.
Jack Podsiadlo, SJ
Friend-raisers and Fund-raisers
During October, we celebrated our schools with three uniquely different events and honored
individuals who made considerable contributions to the New York Nativity Centers:
Nativity Mission Center: October 20, Union League Club.
Honoree: Brian P.Kavanagh, recently-elected New York State Assemblymember, 74th District.
Click here for more photos.
Brooklyn Jesuit Prep: October 21, Wallace Hall, St. Ignatius Loyola Church.
Honoree: The Visionaries and Founders of BJP.
Click here for more photos.
St. Ignatius School: October 27, Tognino Hall, Duane Library, Fordham University.
Honorees: Maryann Hedaa and Judithann Thayer.
Click here for more photos.
We gratefully acknowledge Kim and Steve Bepler for sponsoring all three events.
Because of their generous support, all monies raised are going directly to school programs.
A Nativity-Model Highlight
One of the distinguishing components of the Nativity Model is the Graduate Support Program. Michael J. Garanzini, SJ, President of Loyola University Chicago, claims that it is the unique characteristic of the Nativity modeled schools that distinguishes them from other innovative models of urban education. The Graduate Support Program is the essential link that enables the middle school students to break out of the cycle of poverty through education.
Why bother intensely educating the youngster at the middle school level if they just return to the local public school after eighth grade?
In order to truly break the cycle of poverty, a young person today must acquire at least a post-secondary level of education, in most cases, college or university. Statistics are available that indicate a significant income differential over the working years of an individual depending on their educational background. Most of the students at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep, Nativity Mission Center and St. Ignatius School come from families that do not have familiarity with higher education. They and their families must be made aware that a college education is a possibility and they must be accompanied on the path to achieving it. Our Nativity schools make this a priority.
- All incoming students are assured that we expect them to graduate from
eighth grade, high school and college. For most, it is the first time they hear these words.
- During their time in the middle school, all our students have exposure
to a college campus. Brooklyn Jesuit Prep students spend four weeks in
the summer on the campus of Fairfield University in Connecticut. St.
Ignatius School eighth graders participate in an advanced science
research project with Stony Brook University Medical School. Nativity
Mission Center’s students celebrate Epiphany with a Renew the Spirit of
Camp Day on the Fordham University Campus
- All eighth graders are prepared for the Catholic high school entrance
exam. Some also prepare for the exams to the Specialized New York City
Schools as well as independent boarding and day schools. They and their
families are counseled as to the best fit for each child as well as
sources of financial aid.
- During the four years of high school the graduates return to their
middle school for tutoring and whatever other kind of help they need to
successfully complete their high school education. The Graduate Support
Director maintains close contact with the students, follows closely
their academic and social progress and serves as a liaison between high
school and family.
- During the four years of high school, New York Nativity financially
assists the families in paying high school tuitions.
- During junior and senior years of high school, help is offered with
respect to the college visitation, application and financial aid
- Records are kept on each graduate as they progress through high school
and college with annotations of honors, activities, work-study
experiences and internships that are helpful for recommendations.
Each New York Nativity school employs a Graduate Support Person, budgets program expenses, and provides financial aid to assist with high school tuitions. Past experience proves that this essential element of the Nativity model assures a successful educational career that leads to a productive future. Your support of this program assures our fulfilling our mission: helping children from lower income families break out of the cycle of poverty through education.