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NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo

A handful of sharply dressed seventh grade boys shuffle into a bright classroom at NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo. Each one politely greets School President, Nancy Langer, and Board of Trustees President, JoAnne Hudecki, before taking their seats and engaging in a lighthearted conversation about the school’s basketball team. It is clear that these students are excited to be part of the NativityMiguel experience, a national school model designed to reach out to educationally underserved students, partner with parents, and provide a safe and nurturing learning environment.

The school, made up of the boys’ St. Augustine campus and the girls’ St. Monica campus, evolved from Catholic Central into a NativityMiguel school to better serve the children in the surrounding neighborhoods, providing extended school days that mirror a typical work day, as well as a longer school year that encompasses much of the summer. As its leaders embarked on its first strategic plan under the NativityMiguel model six years ago, being able to continue to best meet the needs of its fifth through eighth graders, setting them up for success beyond their middle school years, was the top priority.

Already familiar with the Community Foundation as a grantmaker and community leader, the school decided to establish a fund to create a stable and sustainable source of funding. A year after it was established, the school received a generous gift from a priest who named the school in his Will. “The fund has had a huge impact on our ability to make changes in the school, and we would not be able to do that if we had to focus so carefully on the day-to-day administration and investment of the fund,” Nancy noted.

Both Nancy and JoAnne agree that they chose the right partner. “The Community Foundation is very transparent in terms of their robust investment strategy,” said Nancy. “We have a lot of trust and confidence in the investment committee and the seriousness with which they take their role. They feel a real obligation toward the work and impact that is being done as a result of the investment.”

Through its fund, NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo is now able to plan for the future knowing it will have a perpetual source of funding, and ultimately help its students succeed well past the last school bell.