Supporters of the Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington filled the atrium of the Hercules Building on Saturday to enjoy a night of celebration and fellowship.
In Vino Veritas is the signature fundraiser for school, and the event always enjoys a wonderful turnout and measure of support from the surrounding community. In fact several heads of schools, including Brendan Kennealey of Salesianum, Bessie Spears of Tower Hill, Peggy Heins of Serviam Academy, and Mark Anderson of Sanford School, attended this year’s event.
Most large dinner-cocktail fundraisers follow a theme for the evening. But organizers of the Nativity Prep party decided to build their event theme around a quote, “Have patience to walk with short steps until you have wings to fly.” And who better than Nativity Prep alum to talk about traveling their educational journey together. Daniel Nelson – Nativity Prep ’17, Salesianum ’21; Morgan Smith – NP’08, UD ’17, (heading to Weidner Law School); and Ryan Washington, NP’13, Sanford ’17, & Franklin & Marshall ’21, all shared poignant remarks about the influence of a strong education on their lives.
Ryan Washington, who will graduate from Sanford School next month, opened his remarks by confessing that his first attempt at admission to Nativity fell short of their requirements. But the fact that the school believed in him and gave him weeks to study more and try again was the first of many great things that happened to him on his path toward academic success.
Ryan vividly remembers the firm handshake and warm welcome he received from Nativity Prep Principal Michael Hassler when he learned he had been accepted to the school’s 6th grade. “I knew right then that my life was about to change for the better!” Ryan, who ranked #6 this year in Delaware’s Poetry Out Loud contest, was a four-year member of the Sanford Repertory Theater Company, performing major roles in every play and musical over eight seasons. This year he had a leading role as Billy Crocker in Anything Goes. “Nativity empowered me to explore my talents beyond the academic ones. That is why at Sanford I was able to thrive as a vocalist, actor, and orator.” Ryan is grateful that Nativity “is in business of giving a chance to talented students like myself to realize their full potential.”