Dear Nativity Prep Community,
It is with great joy that we announce Nativity Prep has a new home. Located just three miles from our current space, near the intersection of College Ave. and El Cajon Blvd, we will have double our current square footage, five buildings, including a chapel, and the added benefits of owning the property. That’s right, our new campus literally resides on College Ave, which is so very fitting given our mission of guiding each and every one of our students along their journey through college graduation.
This is the first time in our history that we will own our campus, and it’s all thanks to the selfless work and generosity of the Nativity group of volunteers, benefactors, and board members. What started out as an idealistic dream many years back, one that seemed out of reach for many reasons, came to fruition April 15th. The fact that we were able to finalize the purchase of our new home campus during this pandemic is truly humbling.
A time of rebirth.
We find no coincidence in the purchase happening during Easter, when we celebrate God’s unconditional love and mercy on us and those who are in most need of compassion. This Easter is a new springtime for Nativity Prep, a next step of an incredible journey. Together, we work with San Diego’s deserving young people who find themselves in financially disadvantaged positions to graduate college despite the odds stacked against them. This focus on college graduation allows families to end generational poverty and provides families and future generations a life filled with genuine opportunities.
When we completed our three year strategic plan, the idea of buying a new campus was not part of that plan. Then, last year, a miracle started to unfold. One of our many dedicated volunteers, Joe Bonin, a commercial real estate business owner, toured a property on College Avenue that exceeded all of the school’s needs, and was potentially priced well below market value. The new campus is move-in ready, with only cosmetic updates needed. Our board and other industry expert volunteers vetted the property, ran calculations, and decided this campus was an incredible opportunity worth pursuing. The message was clear, this opportunity could mark an important step in the next cycle of Nativity Prep as an organization moving into its adulthood.
What happened next marked the further unfolding of a miracle. We put our full trust in God and continued down the path of the purchase. We conducted a robust feasibility study and launched the lead and major gift phase of a campaign at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020. The answer from our benefactors was a resounding yes– the campus purchase could and should be done.
We cannot list every individual and their contribution, but we had San Diego’s “best” guiding us through this journey, and the mission of Nativity Prep will benefit for decades to come. This part of the journey is filled with many moments where it seemed impossible for Nativity Prep to purchase the new campus, based on our limited budget, time constraints, and the myriad of issues in terms of ensuring the campus was a good fit for our community. Yet, at each turn, whenever a new obstacle emerged, soon after a small (and sometimes not so small) miracle would happen and the journey toward buying the new campus would continue.
Based upon the economy, the pandemic, and the state of our country right now, we gave serious consideration to putting our campus purchase plans on hold. However, the lead and major donors who committed to the campaign before the coronavirus pandemic believed purchasing the campus at the price that was renegotiated due to the new economic reality was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We will be forever humbled by their generosity and their commitment to the students and families.
Knowing that we must be careful stewards of our finances especially during these times, we negotiated with the seller to purchase this property below market value. In addition, we received the good news that our application for The Paycheck Protection Loan Program was approved and funded. This removed our final barrier to completing the purchase: to assure that we are in a good financial position to recover from the loss of the fundraising revenue due to the cancellation of our spring fundraiser.
We hold deep gratitude and owe a heartfelt thank you to all who were a part of this miracle. Please be aware that the gifts raised here were above and beyond their annual giving commitments and represent an exponential increase in both giving and their commitment to our students. For this sacrificial giving, we are eternally grateful.
We will be challenged in 2020-21 to raise funds for our operational budget. However, one significant result of our successful Capital Campaign for the new campus is the fact that the operational budget for 2020-21 will actually be less than the budget for 2019-20.This is important as the impact of COVID-19 is still a question mark going into our next fiscal year starting July 1, 2020.
We have tremendous confidence that the new campus will be a motivating factor to both new and current donors. Being able to invest in our own facility and to have a campus that has the potential to be our long-standing home is a blessing. Nativity Prep has demonstrated that every dollar, every hour volunteered, and every gift someone brings to the community is invested wisely and provides a meaningful and measurable return. This commitment to stewardship will ensure the Nativity Prep community has the resources it needs to fulfill the important purpose of providing our students and their families with a life of opportunity and choice.
We look forward to the day when we can celebrate this monumental achievement at our new campus as a community. In the meantime, we invite you to join us in thanking God for His many blessings, His miracles, and for reflecting on how the sacrifices of so many that are profoundly changing our community and our world.
Dr. Gil Brady, President, Nativity Prep Academy
Elijah Bonde, Principal, Nativity Prep Academy
Please watch this campaign video for our new campus!