President’s Message – Spring 2024

President’s Message – Spring 2024

Dear Friends & Family of Nativity Prep,

In his song “Shed a Little Light,” James Taylor challenges us to “recognize that there are ties between us, all men and women living on the Earth, ties of hope and love…” This song not only inspires us to accept our bonds but to celebrate them. Every day at Nativity Prep reinforces this essential truth: we are truly “bound together.” Nativity Prep acts as a bridge, uniting people who might otherwise never meet.

This community invests time, talent, and treasure in nurturing the potential of God’s beloved children. Often, the joy of witnessing a child’s development in their God-given life is the greatest gift one can receive. Just one example: time and again, mentors share with me that while they offer their time and wisdom, they learn far more from their middle school mentees than they ever impart.

At Nativity, love is the answer, community is the context, and tenderness is the methodology.

We don’t “save” students and families; we accompany them on their heroic journeys to create opportunities in their lives. The enclosed lists of high school and college acceptances are a testament to these remarkable opportunities. We start by creating a safe space for students to discover their God-given gifts—a place where everyone belongs. For our students, every achievement is often a family first: from graduating middle school to accepting a job in a new career path. They will all be the first in their families to graduate from college.

Their daily challenges are many, which is why we intentionally celebrate every step of the journey, supporting our students when it’s tough and celebrating their victories when they achieve what once seemed impossible. We love them and root our practices in love. We hold them to high expectations, always with great love, creating an environment where students feel safe, seen, and like they truly belong—and thus, they thrive.

Nativity Prep has profoundly shaped my leadership and how I view the potential of humanity. Reflecting on the past three years, I am deeply grateful for this experience and our community. As James Taylor sings, “We are bound together, in our desire to see the world become a place in which our children can grow free and strong.” I am privileged to be part of this community. Thank you all for supporting Nativity Prep and the growth of its students. Your sacrifices inspire the world. If you have yet to get involved in the daily life of this extraordinary community, consider this your invitation. We need you.

Dr. AJ Antun will assume the role of President this June. I encourage you to reach out to him to welcome him at and share your experiences of the Nativity Prep community. Dr. Antun, you are embarking on a wonderful journey.

With a grateful heart,

Jessica Hooper