From an early age, Nativity Prep graduate Kimberly Solis has been taught the importance of perseverance. She firmly believes that by putting in time and effort, she will reach her goals. Her strong ambition is rooted in the example set by her family. It only continued to grow during her time at Nativity Prep.
Kimberly Solis’ parents, Emilio Solis and Josefina Anchondo immigrated from Mexico at a young age with dreams of better opportunities and brighter futures. They eventually settled in San Diego, had Kimberly, and started a new life chapter. Josefina was a stay-at-home mom and Emilio worked a variety of jobs in hotels and continues to work in that field. Kimberly has a very close and loving relationship with her parents. Kimberly said, “Not only were they supportive in my education but everything in my life.” Kimberly’s parents raised her to value kindness and hard work.
Emilio and Josefina learned about Nativity Prep and its unique program through families they trusted. After learning more about the 11-year journey, her parents realized this school would be a life-changing opportunity not just for Kimberly but for their entire family.
Kimberly excelled as a student at Nativity Prep! She thrived academically, earning almost all A’s in her classes in all three middle school years. Outside the classroom, Kimberly participated in clubs and played on the volleyball and basketball teams. Kimberly also enjoyed spending time with her mentor, Karen Byrne. Kimberly and Karen had a close bond. Karen opened Kimberly’s eyes to new careers and life experiences she had never heard of. Kimberly is so grateful to have had this special relationship during her middle school years as she was discovering who she wanted to be.
The most memorable and impactful resource Kimberly took advantage of at Nativity Prep was the Graduate Support Program (GSP). Through GSP, Nativity students begin to think about college and their futures. Classes begin in sixth grade and are incorporated into the school day.
Reflecting upon those pivotal middle school years, Kimberly’s heart swells with gratitude for the invaluable guidance GSP provided. It wasn’t just about the classes; it was about exposure. College workshops under GSP’s umbrella painted vivid pictures of university life, with representatives demystifying complex topics like financial aid and translating the dream of attending college into a tangible reality.
Thanks to the myriad of opportunities and workshops orchestrated by Nativity Prep, Kimberly’s ambition of pursuing higher education remained steadfast and clear. Today, when asked about her unwavering commitment to academics and her deeply ingrained work ethic, she wholeheartedly acknowledges with appreciation the unparalleled influence of the GSP.
After graduating from Nativity Prep Academy in 2015, Kimberly attended the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. She served as a student ambassador and participated in Mock Trial as a high school student. Kimberly’s transition from middle school to high school was smooth. “It was not challenging to adjust because I felt well prepared. OLP was very welcoming and NPA offered a lot of support to make sure we knew that they were there to help us.“ Just like all of our middle school graduates, Kimberly returned to the Nativity Prep campus once a week for GSP workshops. Here, she finetuned her study skills and also worked on her applications for college and financial aid. During her senior year of high school, she applied to in-state universities like San Diego State University and Loyola Marymount University, to name a few. But, before being notified of any other college decision, Kimberly learned that the University of San Diego (USD), one of her top choice schools, had accepted her into the Torero Promise Program.
The Torero Promise creates a direct pathway for high school students in San Diego’s and San Bernardino’s diocesan high schools to attend the University of San Diego with abundant financial support. Kimberly, along with her fellow Nativity Prep Academy Class of 2015 alums Miriam Castañon, Alondra Gonzalez, Ashley Gonzalez, and Brigitte Jimenez, were all part of the inaugural cohort of USD graduates who attended Nativity Prep.
In the fall of 2019, Kimberly began her college career at the University of San Diego. Kimberly majored in International Relations with a minor in Law and Ethics. During her four years at USD, Kimberly participated in many events in the school’s Mulvaney Center for Community, Awareness, and Social Action and volunteered at PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) and the California Innocence Project. She also had the opportunity to study abroad in Oxford in the spring semester of her junior year! Kimberly loved this opportunity. She was able to travel to the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Austria, and Greece. She shares, “My favorite part was living with people from all over the world and being able to travel through Europe. I was able to learn a lot about different cultures in a manner that would not have been possible in the classroom.“
Although Kimberly completed her undergraduate studies in May 2023, she is continuing her studies through a Combined Degree Program offered by the University of San Diego. Once completed in the Winter of 2024, she will have a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in International Relations. As for the future, Kimberly plans to attend law school and practice law either in criminal defense or immigration. Fueled by a passion to serve, she envisions herself as a staunch advocate, amplifying the voices within her community and standing for the marginalized. She is an example for all Nativity Prep students of what it means to create a life of opportunity, choice, and service.