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Teaching as he was taught, as a ‘Person for Others’
Ask a graduate of any Jesuit school to tell you what he remembers most about Jesuit teaching, and the answer is likely to be unanimous: service to others. It is this same passion to give back that has brought Trevor Crest to teach at Nativity. “The message about being a ‘man for others’ is such an important one for me…we heard it all the time at Saint Ignatius.”
Saint Ignatius, the all-scholarship Jesuit middle school for young men from Baltimore’s inner city, is where Trevor learned the importance of giving back.
“I was blessed to have a supportive family and to have the support of the Saint Ignatius community,” he says. “Now it’s my time to support students who have some of the same challenges I had growing up.” For the next two years at least, Trevor will be carrying out his calling to be a ‘person for others’ as a full-time faculty member at our school, teaching art in all three grades, helping our eighth graders with their transition to high school, and coaching our track team.
Trevor is the first graduate of a Nativity-model school to serve as a full-time teacher at our San Diego Nativity school. The vision of inviting graduates to serve as teachers, mentors, tutors, and even Board members at their own or other Nativity schools is one that is shared by all Nativity schools. “Our hope is that the students from our first alumni class, who are graduating from college next year, will also come back and teach with us full time…in short, our hope is that our efforts with our graduates eventually come ‘full circle,’” said Brendan Sullivan, Nativity Prep’s principal.
Nativity Prep San Diego already has a number of graduates who have returned to help its middle school students with tutoring and with coaching, and a number have come back to help as administrative assistants as well.
After graduating from eighth grade at Saint Ignatius in 2004, Trevor earned a four-year scholarship to Episcopal High School, a prestigious, internationally-known boarding school located in Arlington, Virginia. After Episcopal, he enrolled at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, where he earned his B.A. in history with a minor in art studies, served as captain of the track team, and was a member of the men’s soccer team.
For Trevor, it wasn’t very easy or very popular to be a smart kid in his neighborhood. “If you’re a student who is academically talented, you’re kind of seen as an outsider.” But the culture of academic success at Saint Ignatius and the opportunity to earn a great education played a big part in helping Trevor to envision a better life for himself. “The teachers at Saint Ignatius saw the best in us (the students) that we didn’t always see.”
Since high school, Trevor has set his sights on becoming a teacher. His community-service experiences throughout high school and college, particularly as a senior in the “May Program” at Episcopal, encouraged him to focus more closely on where he would begin teaching. “I knew I wanted to start out at a Nativity school, and San Diego seemed like the best way to escape the east coast winters,” Trevor says with a smile.
What does the future hold for Trevor? He is still working on a strategy to continue his lifelong vision of serving others, and looks to Dr. Geoffrey Canada, the founder and executive director of the Harlem Children’s Zone, for inspiration. “I admire the work that Dr. Canada has done. I hope to achieve as much in my life as he has achieved through his service to others.”
Whatever path Trevor takes after his work here is complete, we know he will continue to inspire and lead the students who know him. We welcome Trevor with thanks and wish him every success.
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