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Community Makeover

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Just in time for its inaugural academic year, Xavier Jesuit Academy, a new Catholic grade school in Bond Hill, will serve as the anchor site for this year’s Community Makeover. Now in its fifteenth year, the Community Makeover is a collaboration by the Cincinnati Reds, Procter and Gamble, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and several other local companies to sustainably improve Cincinnati-area   neighborhoods. This year the Community Makeover chose Bond Hill.

While Xavier Jesuit Academy is its anchor site, the makeover will also benefit the Bond Hill Food Pantry, Bond Hill Academy, the Bond Hill Community Center and a nearby baseball field. Most of the work will occur August 1, when more than 400 volunteers come together.

Jesuit Father Nathan Wendt, SJ, president of Xavier Jesuit Academy, said volunteers will help set up the school’s STEM lab, kitchen and fine arts room and assist with major landscaping. They will also help build an outdoor learning garden area accessible, at times, to the larger Bond Hill Community.

“I’m very happy … about the Community Makeover Day,” Father Wendt said. “Through their resources and skills on [this day], they’re enhancing the amenities that Xavier Jesuit Academy is going to have for our first classes of students and our first families. It will also benefit the congregation at Church of the Resurrection, which is on site … our shared spaces, and … the Bond Hill Food Pantry, which is on campus.”

Father Wendt learned of the Community Makeover Day when he met with the Reds Community Fund leadership last year—a meeting that proved key in securing the event for the Bond Hill community. “As they learned about what’s happening on the campus of the Church of the Resurrection and Xavier Jesuit Academy and [of ] our construction project and our opening in August of 2024, they thought, let’s explore the option of Bond Hill.”

Other  partners  involved  in  executing  the makeover include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, GE Aerospace, Kroger, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati Toolbank, OneSource and the Duke Energy Foundation. Xavier Jesuit Academy and Church of the Resurrection are host partners for the event.


Xavier Jesuit Academy is an independent, scholarship- funded, Catholic faith-based school for boys that is opening its doors this academic year. It will open with grades three, four and five this fall, eventually expanding to include grades three through eight. Xavier Jesuit Academy follows the Jesuit Nativity model for education that seeks to encourage young learners during their formative years, in part with small class sizes—only 15 students per class are planned.

Benefactors’ generosity and the Ohio EdChoice Scholarship will combine to cover the cost of educating students in financial need.

“What we’re focused on is that this is an opportunity for families, to give them a high-quality education option to break any cycles of poverty that may exist in their family through education,” Father Wendt said.

The school came to be after a need was identified through feasibility studies by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and CISE back in 2019, Father Wendt said. The Bond Hill community had no Catholic school, a vacant Catholic school in the former St. Agnes building on Church of the Resurrection’s campus and an economic need. Father Wendt said Jesuits were asked to run the school, thanks, in part, to their experience running similar schools in other cities. Xavier Jesuit Academy joins St. Xavier High School and Xavier University as part of the Jesuit education family in Cincinnati.

This article appeared in the May 2024 edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.

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