Sacred Heart Nativity Schools’ (SHNS) annual Fiesta event in February was filled with fun, fundraising, and family. The evening also celebrated two key partners who have helped SHNS break the cycle of poverty through education – Ladies of Charity and Thirty-One Women.
Sacred Heart Nativity Schools, which is comprised of two middle schools: Sacred Heart Nativity School for Boys and Our Lady of Grace Nativity School for Girls, educates the urban poor near downtown San Jose. Seventy-five percent of SHNS graduates attend Catholic college preparatory high schools, and 100 percent of those students graduate from high school, compared to the 70 percent of low-income Latino youth in Santa Clara County.
“When I think about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, these two philanthropic organizations come to mind. These two groups make education possible for our students at the middle and high school level. What an extraordinary gift,” said Sacred Heart Nativity Schools’ President, Sonya Arriola.
The Ladies of Charity, started in the early 1930’s, is an all-volunteer philanthropic organization in San Jose dedicated to providing the necessary funding to care for, and educate children and families in need. In 2015, they began a relationship with SHNS to support the mission of providing educational opportunity to low-income youth having previously been affiliated with Saint Elizabeth’s Day Home.
Thirty-One Women is a movement that today is 185 women strong, and raises funds specifically for graduates of Our Lady of Grace Nativity Schools to attend Notre Dame High School. The concept is simple – a group of 30 women give a fixed amount to Notre Dame High School each month for four years. The outcome is four years of a Notre Dame Catholic education for one young woman who then becomes the center of the circle and the thirty-first woman.
Pope Francis said, “To give a child an education is the finest gift you can give.” With the support of the community, SHNS is gifting its students with the tools for success.
To learn how to join the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty through education, visit www.shnativity.org.