Welcome to the nest academy
Where we educate, empower, and enrich Charlotte’s refugee, immigrant, underprivileged and at-risk children to become first-generation graduates.
A trauma-informed, holistic approach to education, addressing the whole child: educationally, emotionally, socially, nutritionally, and experientially to help them become Whole Healthy Youth for tomorrow.
At the nest
we are Bridging the Opportunity Gap
Championing for the birthright of every child to have access to quality education, acceptance, and hope
restoring dignity for each child to be known, loved, seen, and understood.
Restoring Dignity, Honoring Culture and Redeeming Stories
Our students come from all over the world and now call East Charlotte home. We understand that diversity is what makes our city so special. Honoring diversity is vital to strengthening our community. Our students and their families’ cultural and ethnic diversity is honored and celebrated at The Nest.
Every child has the right to be seen, heard, understood and belong. When children feel a sense of belonging in a safe, inclusive, and loving community, they have the freedom to live their true and authentic selves.
At The Nest, we have seen how greatly a loving support system deeply affect student success.
We believe that respect is essential in building the relationship necessary to educate a child. When in an authentic, safe environment students’ sense of confidence, security and trust grow, fostering the power to teach and for them to learn. We model and encourage respect, trust and acceptance and honor.
We believe that true learning is a liberatory practice. We encourage curiosity, connection, and foster an appreciation and love of learning in all our students. We are actively filling in the educational gaps of our students.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life
BY what we give.” -Winston Churchill.
the Nest in the media
One small school making a difference on Charlotte’s Eastside
Featured In EdNC June 28, 2019 | Click the + to read article
When H’Thin Rochom came to the United States in 2005, she was too young to remember much about her family’s home in Vietnam. But that part of her identity certainly followed her into Charlotte.
When she started falling behind in middle school, she knew there was a problem. But it felt like nobody cared — like she was being pushed through the system anyway, especially in her ESL classes. That was before she was invited to attend the Nest Academy.
In 2008, Charlotte resident M.C. Hildreth was helping tutor local refugee and immigrant students through One7 ministries at the public library uptown. Hildreth said many of them couldn’t speak English.
She said when she approached the public school system looking for a way to help, she found an overburdened ESL (English as a Second Language) program that was having challenges with the refugee population.
So Hildreth decided to open a small private school for refugee and immigrant students. She called it The Nest Academy, a Christian school that was initially girls-only. They began the first school year in 2009 with five refugee girls who were struggling in school. Since then, the academy has expanded to cover grades five through 12, and includes boys, too.
This year, H’Thin Rochom was the sole member of the 2019 graduating class. That’s not an unusual class size for the school, which has graduated nine students since its inception 10 years ago. Each year, Hildreth said, they have the same graduation ceremony regardless of how many students are graduating.
Unlike most private schools, the students here pay nothing to attend. Their tuition is covered by fundraising from individual donors in the private sector. Hildreth said this year, corporate donors contributed for the first time.
Ready to Become a Volunteer?
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” Elizabeth Andrews