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Press Listings

Nativity Prep Awarded GuideStar’s 2017 Gold Seal of Approval

This year GuideStar awarded Nativity Prep Academy with their Gold Seal of Transparency. GuideStar’s Seal of Transparency program was created in order to ensure donors that the causes they were donating to were real non-profit entities that were truly using donations for the causes they advertised. GuideStar has four levels of seals: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Each level is determined by the amount of information a non-profit entity shares about itself with GuideStar. GuideStar then uses this information to confirm with government agencies and other resources that each entity is not a scam or other illegal enterprise. If all the information a non-profit shares with GuideStar is found to be true and accurate, GuideStar then awards that entity with

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San Diego Union-Tribune, July 2009

On a Mission for Low-income Youths: School’s support doesn’t end after students move on San Diego Union-Tribune (July, 2009) By Chris Moran San Diego—It was a startling wake-up call for a high school sophomore whose attention had drifted from history class. He looked out a window and saw the face of the principal – his middle school principal. Jonathan Arteaga recognized that stare – “like into your soul” – and thought he was in trouble. Principal Brendan Sullivan had directed it at him plenty of times at Nativity Prep Academy, a tiny Catholic middle school in San Diego’s Stockton neighborhood. But the visit turned out to be the fulfillment of what Jonathan had previously believed was a dubious promise. Nativity

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Rancho Santa Fe Review, May 2009

Breakfast Honors Student Success Rancho Santa Fe Review (May 2009) By David Wiemers Rancho Santa Fe—Hosting an impressive group of approximately 500, Nativity Prep held its first annual Breakfast of Champions on April 22. The event was a fundraiser to benefit the college prep school, which alleviates the cycle of poverty through education. Held at the Mission Tower Ballroom at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the event raised awareness of the school, which was founded in 2001 by David Rivera. The school’s mission is to provide a Catholic Christian college prep, middle school education for the underserved children of Southeast San Diego. “We’ve focused on 12 neighborhoods in Southeast San Diego,” Rivera said. “On average there was a murder a week

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San Diego Daily Transcript, February 2006

Nativity Prep Receives $100K Endowment The Daily Transcript (February 15, 2006) By Amy Yarnall Logan Heights—Nativity Prep Academy has received an endowment of $100,000 to benefit its scholarship program. The privately-funded college prep school received the endowment through the Endow San Diego initiative of the San Diego Foundation. “The endowment for Nativity Prep is a great example of the power of an endowment,” said Bob Kelly, president and CEO of the San Diego Foundation. “This money will provide a financial base for student scholarships well into the future. The Endow San Diego initiative is designed to build permanent endowments to improve the quality of life in San Diego’s communities.” The $100,000 gift comes in two increments, with $50,000 gifted in

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The Southern Cross, February 2006

Programs Give Barrio School Students Hope for Bright Futures The Southern Cross (February 2006) San Diego—The barrio area of San Diego can be a place of very little hope for many of its residents, but not for the students of Nativity Prep Academy – a college prep middle school for underserved children in southeast San Diego. Eighth-grade students have completed testing and are currently in the interviewing process for entrance to Catholic, private and charter high schools in San Diego. Those motivated students are excited at the prospect of what lies ahead for them. With lives full of challenges both at home and in their communities, these students have been working a minimum of ten hours each day at school

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The Southern Cross, November 2004

With Long Hours and Catholic Values, Inner-City School Changes Lives: Nativity finds success following Jesuit model The Southern Cross (November 4, 2004) Logan Heights—Faced with a 12-hour school day and a 6-week mandatory summer school, it’s no wonder Luis Castaneda was hesitant to enroll at Nativity Prep Academy in Logan Heights. “I kinda didn’t want to at first because of the hours,” the 14-year-old said. “But there’s more to do at this school, and I’ll have better chances of going to college.” If standardized tests are accurate reflections, Luis and his classmates certainly are increasing their chances of attending college. Most scored below their grade equivalency in math, reading and language when they entered Nativity in the fall of 2001,

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San Diego Union-Tribune, June 2003

Good Time Is Had in Memorial Park: Juneteenth marked with dance, food, music San Diego Union-Tribune (June 22, 2003) By Ray Huard Logan Heights—Twelve-year-old Jennifer Damian could hardly contain herself after scampering up a rock-climbing wall and dancing to hip hop music at Memorial Park in Logan Heights yesterday. “It’s really fun and exciting,” Jennifer said, as friends circled around giggling and shouting out what they liked best about the day’s Juneteenth celebrations. “Dancing” is what made tile day for Elizabeth Salinas. She and Jennifer were among 18 students from the nearby Nativity Prep Academy who performed hip-hop dance routines as part of San Diego’s Juneteenth celebrations. “It’s great because it lets us perform and stuff and it’s a community

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Point Loma Beacon, March 2003

Club Raises Funds for Charity Point Loma Beacon (March 27, 2003) By Brooks Larios Point Loma—The Thursday Club Juniors of Point Loma selected three non-profit charities to receive financial support through their many fund-raising efforts this year. Through a vote, Nativity Prep Academy, Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park, and Dress for Success, an organization that provides clothing and career counseling to unemployed individuals, were selected as the main recipients of club funds, however, only one was chosen as the financial recipient of the annual benefit gala event held last month. Honoring a different, outstanding charity each year, the club decided this year’s honoree to be Nativity Prep Academy for their efforts in helping children from bad areas receive

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North County Times, February 2003

David Rivera’s Passion: Helping Children North County Times (February 20, 2003) By Edward Sifuentes Escondido—David Rivera always wanted to help at-risk children, but in his twenties, he himself was lost. Rivera, the son of Chicano activist parents, had abandoned his college education for a high-income job in real estate and a “party lifestyle.” That changed when he realized his life was “spiritually” empty, he said. “October 16, 1993, was the date that changed my life,” Rivera, 35, told some 125 people who attended the Bravo Foundation’s Latino speakers luncheon Wednesday at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. “I felt so insignificant. I had a lot of money. I had a lot of friends, but I wasn’t happy.” Rivera, of

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USD Magazine, Spring 2002

A Lesson in Faith USD Magazine (Spring 2002) By Susan Herold/Photos by Gary Payne ’86 Opening a private Catholic school in one of San Diego’s poorest neighborhoods is a huge challenge, but David Rivera ’96, prefers his challenges giant-sized. His students are labeled “at-risk,” his teachers have no experience, and money is a constant problem. Yet his belief in God gets him through. A mouse is running loose in the tottering, two story Victorian David Rivera to house his volunteer teachers and it’s got him stumped. A visit from the Orkin man proved fruitless. Unsprung traps, picked clean of their food, taunt him. And now, the pricey electronic device that is supposed to emit a noise and scare away the

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Los Angeles Times, February 2002

School Offers Grueling, Rickety Ride to Success: Without much money, Nativity Prep determines to help students who might otherwise fail Los Angeles Times (February 19, 2002) By Deborah Sullivan Brennan San Diego—The van that shuttles students from Nativity Prep Academy to their swimming lessons and field trips has logged nearly 200,000 miles and is pushing 20 years old. On the outside, it’s a dun-gray clunker. On the inside, however, it’s a vehicle of opportunity for 19 low-income kids who might otherwise be languishing below grade level in overcrowded public classrooms. As school founder and President sees it, the vehicle is emblematic of the cash-strapped, first-year school: both struggling day to day to keep going. Housed in a converted warehouse east

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San Diego Union-Tribune, January 2002

Leap of Faith San Diego Union-Tribune (January 20, 2002) By Chris Moran San Diego—Opportunity knocked on doors in Logan Heights and Stockton last summer, borne by a 22-year-old Midwesterner three months removed from life as a college student. The white solicitor with the economics degree definitely wasn’t from the largely Latino neighborhood. But Lisa Martin made an alluring pitch, and in Spanish. She asked people to send their children to a school with fewer than 20 students. Nativity Prep Academy would have at least two teachers in the classroom, and sometimes as-many as SLX, she promised. School would last 12 hours a day during the week and four hours on Saturday. The school would take care of breakfast, lunch and

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The Southern Cross, October 2001

Catholic Volunteers Bring Education Experiment to San Diego’s Inner City The Southern Cross (October 25, 2001) By Joyce Carr San Diego—Twenty fifth graders at the new Nativity Prep Academy off Market Street gathered on September 17 around a table – adorned with a fountain, cross and American flag – to pray for their safety in the wake of terrorist attacks. On September 18, Jesuit Father Eduardo Samaniego, pastor of Christ the King Church, blessed the school, pupils and teachers, asking them to pray for victims of the September 11 attacks on their country and for American Muslims threatened by hate crimes. The priest also urged the class to pray for those who have organized and funded the academy. That process

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San Diego Daily Transcript, November 2001

A New School’s Formula For Success: Nativity Prep Academy targets low-income, at-risk students San Diego Daily Transcript ( November 1, 2001) By Michelle Cadwell Blackston These students at Nativity Prep Academy take part in specially designed education programs such as rational problem solving and critical thinking. San Diego—David Rivera spent a year studying San Diego schools. From Census data, he color-coordinated a map of Logan Heights neighborhoods with poor-perform students and families living below the poverty level to find the area most challenged. He sought to open a school that would focus on small class size, intensive academic programs and college prep education. Rivera also wanted the school to be Catholic and no-cost to the families. Nativity Prep Academy opened

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Notre Dame Lawyer, July 2002

Creating Hope and Opportunity Notre Dame Lawyer (July 2002) By David Rivera ’99 J.D., with Katie Evans ’98 Many students attend Notre Dame Law School intending to receive an education that will enable them to effect some positive change in society. Four years ago, when I chose to attend NDLS, I was no different in my desire to make a difference. But although I had set my heart on creating some sort of a nonprofit organization that would improve the quality of life for at-risk children, I didn’t have a clear vision of what, exactly, would make the greatest impact. So, like all lawyers confronted with a new problem, I set out to research the issue. As the facts unfolded

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