Making Catholic Education Accessible

St. Joseph’s Prep, Gesu School, and Howley Foundation
Partner to Make Private, Catholic Education More Accessible 

PHILADELPHIA -- The Howley Foundation is partnering with Gesu School and St. Joseph’s Prep to create groundbreaking opportunities for continued access to Catholic education in North Philadelphia. Gesu School and the Prep have shared the same Catholic, Jesuit mission over several decades, a mission that directly aligns with that of the Howley Foundation.

   The Howley Foundation has played an important role with both Gesu School and the Prep, funding scholarships for qualified students with financial need, ultimately to create social and economic mobility and improve lives. Lorie and Nick Howley, a 1970 graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep, see this as their primary philanthropic interest. The Gesu School-St. Joseph’s Prep Howley Scholars Program will expand the opportunities for young men starting in 6th grade and furnish both financial and programmatic support that will provide a pathway to attending the Prep for high school. The partnership offers the potential for a life-changing seven-year commitment to supporting students’ education and represents the first of its kind in the schools’ longstanding history. This $1.2 million gift is in addition to the historic $5.5 million gift the Howley Foundation made to the Prep’s For Others Forever Campaign. 

   The Gesu School-St. Joseph’s Prep Howley Scholars Program was established this summer with selection of the first cohort of five young men by Gesu School administrators. The selection is based on academic performance, commitment to their studies, and involvement of their families. Over the next three years, the young men will receive expanded academic offerings, including participating in a specially-designed test prep program and involvement in St. Joseph’s Prep summer programs. In addition, they will be mentored by a Prep freshman student who is also a Howley Scholar, and will be invited to attend Prep community events. If, as expected, a Gesu Howley Scholar gains admittance to St. Joseph’s Prep for high school, he will automatically receive enrollment in the school’s pre-9th summer academic program to help set the stage for success at the Prep and will join the other Howley Scholars for mentoring and other benefits that the Howley Foundation provides, including significant financial assistance. 

   “Gesu School and St. Joseph’s Prep are both committed to high-quality, Catholic education and have been partners in our North Philadelphia neighborhood for more than a century,” St. Joseph’s Prep President John Marinacci and Gesu School President and CEO Bryan Carter said in a joint statement. “We are grateful to have the Howley Foundation included in this partnership. The Howley’s belief that education is the way to transform the lives of young people and, in turn, the world, aligns perfectly with our missions as well. We are excited to see the fruits of this partnership as the Gesu School students continue to have access to outstanding, holistic Jesuit education—from rigorous academics to character development and faith formation. We are confident that this innovative educational collaboration will impact the trajectory of students’ lives and empower them to develop their strengths, overcome challenges, and become engaged members of the community.” 


About The Howley Foundation — The Howley Foundation’s mission is to provide high quality, educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged students as an integral part of addressing issues of equality and promoting upward social and economic mobility. For nearly 20 years, the foundation has provided high quality educational opportunities to inner city students in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and other areas. 

Gesu School, Philadelphia’s first independent Catholic elementary school, is recognized as a national model for inner-city education. Inspired by the Jesuit and IHM traditions of social justice, faith, creative hope, and love, Gesu School helps students to transcend all forms of poverty by providing a comprehensive, innovative education for children in grades Pre-K through 8. We empower our students to develop their strengths, overcome challenges, and become positive, engaged members of the community and the world. For more information, visit 

St. Joseph’s Preparatory School, Philadelphia Jesuit High School since 1851, is a Catholic, urban, college preparatory school for boys. In the tradition of the Jesuit priests who founded the school, the Prep’s mission is to develop the minds, hearts, souls and characters of young men in their pursuit of becoming Men for and with Others. The Prep is also proud to be a part of a vibrant North Philadelphia neighborhood community. For more information, go to
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