Brooklyn Jesuit Prep Winter Newsletter
A Season of Hope
Community. Diversity. Loving. Challenging. Growth. These are the most common words students and alumni use to describe their experience at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep.
Since beginning as President in July, it has been my privilege to spend time with the leaders of tomorrow that BJP serves. Getting to know them fills me with hope.
Chris Ferreira's story provides just one example of the impact of a BJP education. From exploring his love for science at BJP to becoming an engineer at Regeneron, and from serving as a counselor at Camp Montmartre in Fairfield to giving back as a member of our Board of Trustees, Chris embodies our mission in so many ways.
To those who have already generously supported our mission this year, thank you! Your generosity allows us to provide scholarships to students and families who could not otherwise afford a Catholic education. If you have not yet done so, I ask that you consider a gift to our Annual Fund. Your support will help us create a hope-filled future by forming the leaders of tomorrow.
Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
James L. Kennedy
Alumni Spotlight: Chris Ferreira '09
Chris Ferreira '09 still remembers how the BJP community impacted him during his time in our previous Crown Heights building. Born in Crown Heights, Chris speaks highly of the community that he grew up around—- neighbors who “became local family.” This sense of community carried over to his time at BJP. Having a school environment where Chris felt valued as a member of the classroom helped grow his confidence and leadership skills. After BJP, Chris went on to graduate from Xavier High School, and SUNY Binghamton '18 BS/'19 MS with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Since graduation, Chris has come back to tutor students in science and math, worked as a camp counselor, and present at our career fairs. Chris currently serves as a Process Development Engineer at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. In 2021, Chris became the first alumnus to serve on Brooklyn Jesuit Prep's Board of Trustees.
What are your favorite memories from your time at BJP?
Learning how to swim at Camp at Fairfield University and enjoying potlucks with family and teachers during the holidays.
How did BJP inspire you professionally?
BJP nurtured my natural curiosity by providing hands-on experiments like building a circuit and a small copper wire motor, despite not having a formal science lab. The teachers went the extra mile to engage the students on topics that sparked our attention.
What inspired you to join the Board of Trustees?
It was an opportunity to help grow the impact that I felt the school had on me by molding an increasing number of young leaders committed to improving the communities around them.
Why is it important to support BJP and Jesuit education?
The communities that BJP serves do not always have access to a quality education that shapes mental and spiritual character development in a wholesome way. Jesuit education inherently draws teachers and individuals who dedicate themselves to the altruistic mission behind Nativity-model schools, even if generous staff compensation is unaffordable to the school. Without this mission-driven element, the power of transformative education would be limited only to those who can pay for it.
Supporting Students and their Dreams
Maryellen Doino is in the midst of her third year as school counselor at Brooklyn Jesuit Prep. A Bronx native and graduate of the University of Scranton and Lehman College, Maryellen has a strong desire to work with students and help them achieve their goals. As a school counselor, Maryellen supports students academically, socially, and emotionally through individual and group counseling, as well as classroom lessons: “Middle school students have more than just grades to worry about. It is a time when they are finding themselves and going through many transitions. My job is to ensure that they feel heard and can learn how to navigate through these different experiences in a positive way.”
As an advocate for students, Maryellen is supportive and resourceful. She works with the administration and teachers to find ways to enable all students to be successful, whether it is during grade-level meetings or parent conferences. Maryellen also creates and promotes school-wide programming for our students such as Career Day, Kindness Month, and Mental Health Awareness Month. These programs promote a positive school culture and help students to learn about important topics that may not be covered in academic classes.
Our Jesuit values inspire us to care for the whole person. BJP is only able to do this through Maryellen’s commitment to supporting the whole student—- socially, academically, and emotionally.
Saturday Programs: Growing Community and Building Spirit
As a Nativity school, Brooklyn Jesuit Prep aims to support our students inside and outside of the classroom. Saturday Program is one way we do this. Once a month, BJP students are invited into school on Saturdays for an extended morning of programming run by our teachers and community volunteer groups. Each program includes a collaborative art project, one-on-one homework attention, playtime at the park, and a pizza lunch. Our Saturday Program also provides volunteers from around New York with the opportunity to interact with our students and learn more about our school.
Our collaborative art projects, including cookie decorating, tie-dying t-shirts, pumpkin painting, and pasta making, allow our students to interact together and practice their creativity. Playtime at the park is always a highlight for our students, as this allows them to release some energy outside with their friends. Whether it be at the basketball court or on the jungle gym, our students always look forward to our park time.
What our students love most, however, about our Saturday Program is engaging with community volunteers and welcoming new faces to the BJP family. Volunteer groups who have joined us so far this year include the Georgetown University Alumni Association of New York, the NYU LatinX Alumni Group, St. John’s University volunteers, BJP Alumni currently attending Xavier High School, and members from a local men's group.
We love welcoming new volunteers and groups to our Saturday Program. Each program runs from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm and is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to engage with our students. Our upcoming Saturday Program dates for 2024 are January 20th, February 10th, March 23rd, April 13th, and May 18th.
If your group is interested in joining us for one of our Saturday Programs, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We hope to see you soon!
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Support BJP and Save on your Taxes
As you consider your end-of-year donations, we invite you to review some ways a gift to BJP can help you save on your taxes. We encourage you to consult your financial advisor for any tax-related questions. Please use 20-0108663 for Brooklyn Jesuit Prep's EIN.
- Donated Appreciated Securities allow donors to avoid capital gains tax, while also being eligible for a deduction of the full fair market value of the securities given. To transfer securities to BJP, please provide your broker with the information here and notify our development office (firstname.lastname@example.org) about the type amount of shares so that we can properly credit your donation.
- Donor Advised Funds (DAF) give donors the opportunity to make a donation and instantly qualify for a charitable deduction without having to decide on the specific charities to support right away. DAFs also allow donors to combine charitable gifts made in the same tax year to optimize their deductions. A donation to your DAF can make a larger impact on Brooklyn Jesuit Prep than if you were to liquidate assets prior to donating.
- IRA gifts for those who are 70 ½ or older allow donors to direct up to $100,000 each year to BJP via a Qualified Charitable Distribution, which can count toward your Required Minimum Distribution for this year. For a QCD to count towards the current tax year, the funds must come out of your IRA by December 31.