Character Education

June 13, 2019

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There’s no greater need than education for students who live in the city’s most underserved neighborhoods, which is why the NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo works to break that cycle of poverty by providing young people with a faith-based education program. Helping to give these students a fighting chance are members of the MBA Alumni Association at Canisius. 

Each month, MBA alumni volunteer their time and expertise at the school to educate students – not about math, science or social studies - but about life skills not traditionally included in the curriculum.   

“NativityMiguel delivers a uniquely effective education with dedicated and caring teachers,” says Ryan P. McNulty MBA ‘12, chair of the MBA mentoring committee. “As is the case in the majority of schools, there just is not enough time in the academic year to teach those skills necessary to succeed and thrive in life, in general.”

‘Coursework’ at NativityMiguel includes time management, which becomes increasingly important as middle schoolers advance into high school, how to dress professionally, how to deliver a firm handshake and the importance of making eye contact with others. 

“Although they may be years away from their first job interviews, these students will likely be interviewed during the entrance exam process for high school and college, and also if they’re candidates for scholarships,” McNulty explains.

Internet safety and basic team building skills are two classes that generate a lot of interest among NativityMiguel students, as does the subject of saving and investing. 

“I really appreciated this class when I took it in seventh grade because finances are a huge component of our lives,” recalls Christopher O. Augustin ’21 who now studies finance and marketing at Canisius College.   

NativityMiguel recently recognized the MBA Alumni Association’s enthusiastic support of its students by presenting the Canisius group with its Michael P. Kirwan Shining Light Award for “making dramatic and lasting changes in young people’s lives.”