Jesuit Father Jeff McDougall is principal of St. Andrew Nativity School in Portland, Oregon, which educates 60 middle school students, all from at-risk families with minimal income.
Members of St. Andrew Parish and the Jesuits began the school ten years ago to provide a Catholic education for at-risk children. Parents pay just $25 a term, and the students benefit from small classes and long hours.
Fr. McDougall employs proactive discipline, so students hear what is expected of them from the start. They are to be open to growth, intellectually competent, grateful, religious, loving and committed to justice.
“What we always tell them here is, ‘Keep trying,’” McDougall said.