Society of Mary USA, Marist Ministries Society of Mary, Marists in the USA, Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, and Laity

Partnering For The Future
(Society of Mary e-Bulletin • Volume 6/Issue 4: March 16, 2018)

Since 2004, Notre Dame Preparatory (NDP) in Pontiac, Michigan has partnered with a community organization, Building Bridges (BB), to provide bright and highly capable students from the area the benefit of a tuition-free Notre Dame education.

Mikal Spann, NDP Class of 2009

Mikal Spann,
NDP Class of 2009

The Building Bridges/Notre Dame partnership began as the creation of Notre Dame High School alumnus, Paul Housey '88). Mr. Housey and Marist Leon Olszamowski, in conjunction with the leadership at Notre Dame Prep, joined together with the goal of providing a life-changing Notre Dame education to highly motivated students from families in need of tuition assistance.

Mikal Spann, NDP Class of 2009, attended NDP with the help of a Building Bridges scholarship and went on to graduate from Michigan State University. He currently works in the financial services industry. Mik said he absolutely enjoyed and benefitted from the time he spent at Notre Dame.

"Everyone at the school just embraces you and
you really feel the love from everybody there." 

Notre Dame Preparatory School has pledged to match funding from Building Bridges for the recipients, thus facilitating more individuals to benefit from this partnership. Currently thirty-eight students are beneficiaries of this joint endeavor. NDP has developed a mentorship program to support these students as they move through NDP’s academic program. 

Julia Haynes, NDP Class of 2018

Julia Haynes,
NDP Class of 2018

In addition, NDP has developed the Stepping Stones program, which is designed to provide academic and transition support for students hoping to attend NDP and receive the BB scholarship. Most of the scholarship recipients are very capable, but come from under-performing schools. For this reason, they often need some additional preparation and support prior to and in their first year at NDP.

Julia Haynes, a scholarship recipient, is currently a member of NDP’s Class of 2018.

As a kid she always dreamed of being able
to tell her parents "I'm going to college."

With much joy and gratitude, Julia was pleased to recently inform not only her parents, but her NDP community and the staff at Building Bridges: "I received my first acceptance today!!"

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