In 2008, a 27-year-old man named Patrick Moore drove through the streets of Hartford with a big dream but with little money to support it. He was looking for a home for a tuition-free middle school he hoped to start for boys from underserved families in the Hartford area. A primary goal of the school would be to provide its students with a strong academic foundation that would enable them to receive scholarships to top private and parochial high schools, and ultimately to attend college. Even more importantly, the school would focus on teaching the importance of living lives of character and integrity and in service to others.
As he visited a potential site for the school in Hartford’s North End, and with what he describes as “an incredible and life changing stroke of luck”, Moore crossed paths with a local real estate investor named Jeff Digel, who was evaluating this property with a different goal in mind. Moore shared his vision with Digel, who was immediately intrigued and quickly reached out to his large network of friends and potential donors. It was from this chance meeting that Covenant Preparatory School was born.
The school, now in its 14th year, has been an incredible success story. Graduates have been awarded scholarships to top secondary schools including Avon Old Farms, Hotchkiss, Kingswood-Oxford, Loomis Chaffee, Northwest Catholic, and Westminster. Virtually all school alumni have graduated or are now enrolled in college programs, including at Colby College, Connecticut College, Providence College, University of Connecticut, and Wesleyan University.
Five Covenant graduates now work in portfolio management and research at Conning, a leading Hartford-based investment management firm. Others are working in sales functions for technology companies such as Booksy or have started their own software companies. Several graduates have joined the military, including one who was stationed in Italy as a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and is now pursuing a degree in supply chain finance. Many return to the school frequently and serve as role models to current students, while also volunteering in the community. The message of community service has been instilled in them through the examples of the hundreds of school mentors and volunteers from Avon, Farmington, Glastonbury, Hartford, Simsbury and West Hartford.
Mike Haylon, a founding board member, said, “The school demonstrates what happens when you provide the necessary encouragement and support to young people, regardless of their circumstances, and hold them to high standards and show them you believe in them. All of our teachers and volunteers should be incredibly proud of the academic and career successes of our graduates, but most importantly of the wonderful young men they have become.”
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