First graduating class of Brophy’s Loyola Academy recognized at signing ceremony

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Brophy College Preparatory seniors, who also were the first students at the school’s innovative junior high, Loyola Academy, show off their post-Brophy plans. (courtesy photo)

The vision Brophy College Preparatory leaders and key community donors had for a vital middle school program are bearing its first concrete fruits.

Loyola Academy opened its doors to sixth-grade boys on Brophy’s Jesuit campus in August 2011. They showed academic potential then but simply needed a more inclusive environment to properly prepare them for the rigor of a Catholic high school. They embraced the self-discipline of an 11-month school year with 10-hour days.

The academy became that place the young men learned, grew, had access to food and unending support.

Providentially, 18 of them are still around and ready to permanently label themselves part of Brophy’s Class of 2018. They graduate May 19.

One of the graduates has enlisted in the U.S. Navy; the remainder will become first-generation college students at colleges in Arizona and around the country including:

  • Arizona State University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Loyola Chicago
  • College of the Holy Cross
  • University of San Diego
  • St. Mary’s College
  • Emerson College

A signing ceremony announced post-graduation plans and gave the graduating scholars — youth who want to go to school instead of having to go — a chance to offer advice to current Loyola Academy scholars. They also thanked those whose donations made Loyola Academy possible.

Brophy president, Ms. Adria Renke, commented, “These young men have dedicated themselves to being successful scholars and, in the Jesuit tradition, men for others. We are so proud of how they have persevered and committed themselves to education and service, and grateful to everyone in the Catholic community and beyond who has supported them. I have no doubt they will be catalysts for much good in the world.”

Students qualify to attend Loyola Academy based on recommendations, academic potential and verified financial need. The program includes a 10-hour school day with transportation and meals provided. Students receive homework support after the school day finishes and mandates parental involvement.

Loyola Academy’s first graduating class poses in 2014. Almost exactly four years later, most of them can call themselves graduates of Brophy College Preparatory and the first to be college-bound in their families. (courtesy photo)