April 4, 2023 – The Charlotte Hornets Foundation announced today that its annual Education Grant has been awarded to Charlotte-based The Nest Academy, a K-12 private school founded to change the life trajectory of refugee, immigrant, underprivileged and at-risk children. The $25,000 grant was used to create an urban community garden – including enclosing the necessary space and purchasing 12 tower gardens that allow the students to grow fruits and vegetables for the school’s Farm to Table lunch program – and to purchase 40 Chromebooks.
Tomorrow at 12:30 p.m., Hornets player Kai Jones will visit The Nest Academy to help students finish a paint-by-numbers mural in the new space – designed by North Carolina-based illustrator and muralist Raman Bhardwaj – that represents the growth and inclusivity the garden will foster.
“We are proud to have this year’s Education Grant support youth at The Nest Academy,” said Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “What they’re doing to educate, enrich and empower children who are at great risk of slipping through the cracks – many of whom will become first-generation high school graduates – is remarkable. We can’t wait to watch all that these students will accomplish.”
“We greatly appreciate the Charlotte Hornets Foundation for supporting our school and the dozens of children we serve,” said The Nest Academy Head of School and Founder Mary Catherine Hildreth. “Through our trauma-informed, holistic approach to education, we’ve helped hundreds of students overcome educational barriers and obstacles in an environment that gives them great hope, love and acceptance. This incredible donation will enable us to empower our kids for many years to come.”
Founded in 2009 to offer the “gift of education” to five refugee girls whose circumstances had stunted their academic success, the academy now serves approximately 50 students in grades K-12 and is located within the Simmons YMCA in East Charlotte.