About The Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation
Nick was a young man of exceptional character, joy for life and deep faith.
He was a friend to all he met, a dedicated student, and the best son any parent could hope for. He loved playing baseball from the age of four all the way through junior college. His life was full of promise as he was weeks away from entering his dream school-- USC's Price School of Public Policy where he was excited to focus his studies on Real Estate and Urban Development. Nick was a passionate supporter of the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles and was thrilled when his parents, Mary and Jay, decided to move into a DTLA loft. Nick was their only child and Mary and Jay will forever treasure every day they were able to share in the life of this exceptional young man who lit up any room he walked into with his sparkle.
No lines of copy can do justice to this young man who meant so much to so many people whether they were family, friends, classmates (Wagon Wheel Preschool, St. Brendan Grade School, Notre Dame High School, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Monica City College), parishioners (St. Brendan Catholic Church in Los Angeles and St. Mark's Newman Center in Santa Barbara), teammates (Wilshire Baseball, City of Angels Baseball, Notre Dame High School Knights of Sherman Oaks and Santa Barbara City College Vaqueros) or co-workers (Blenders in the Grass in Isla Vista and Ace Hotel in DTLA).
Nick made no distinction among age, background, culture, economics, lifestyle or race--there are easily 1,000 people who would say that Nick was their friend.
Nick's life was taken on a relaxing Sunday afternoon when a freak lighting storm unexpectedly struck Venice Beach, CA shortly after Nick entered the ocean to rinse off the sand after spending a few hours sitting on the beach with two friends from his former high school.
To honor this exceptional young man, his friends wear bracelets that say 'No One Like Nick.' The Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation is a way for all who knew Nick, and for those who never met him but are inspired by his story, to keep his positive energy having an impact in the world.
The Foundation supports the following:
- Annual scholarship for a transfer student to USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy based on character and a record of activities that demonstrate teamwork, care for others and a commitment to making a positive impact on the world. The mission of The Price School is to improve the quality of life for people and their communities, here and abroad through education and research that promote innovative solutions to the most critical issues facing society.
- Ongoing projects in the Dominican Republic including the makeover of ten out of ten classrooms at Tia Tatiana school in Herrera, one of the most impoverish districts of Santo Domingo. This project provided new student desks, learning aids, school supplies and teachers' aids to the 350+ students ages 4-18 that attend this school. Sports equipment has been purchased for over 60 children living at the Remar Orphanage in Santo Domingo. Volunteers join Nick's parents, Mary & Jay, along with representatives from Vision Trust, on bi-annual trips to identify and fund projects and to bring love to the children supported by Vision Trust's 11 Dominican Republic projects. Long term goals for the DR are to provide educational and career guidance that foster positive self-esteem for the children served by these programs enabling them to become responsible adults and pass along the help they receive to those who follow them through Vision Trust's programs.
- Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks recognizes a graduating senior each year who has been a four-year baseball player and has demonstrated exemplary traits of character, sportsmanship and respect for teammates, coaches,umpires and parents. The financial award is largely funded by NDHS parent donations to the Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation in appreciate of Jay Fagnano's voluntary role in elevating the Notre Dame Knights baseball stadium snack bar to what parents say is 'the best high school baseball snack bar in the league, if not the country.'
- St Brendan Grade School in Los Angeles recognizes a graduating eighth grade student each year who has shown the qualities of faith, kindness, dedication, hard work, respect, sportsmanship, cheerfulness and friendship. The Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation is grateful for the support St. Brendan School gives to the Dominican Republic projects through funds raised from Crazy Day and Nick's Favorite Lunch Day fundraisers.
- Future projects are being evaluated in Los Angeles to provide educational and recreational resources for vulnerable young people and adults to improve their lives and lead to their ability to make contributions back to their communities.
The Thrive in Joy Nick Fagnano Foundation is a partner with the Students in Action Jefferson Awards program as our local Los Angeles community partner. Through the Students in Action Program, high school students from public and private schools from all communities in Southern California will be given the tools to build leadership skills, receive support that allows them to engage others in volunteer service and, in doing so, achieve results that show a positive impact on their communities.
The Thrive in Joy Foundation is honored to sponsor the award that will be presented to the top scoring team in the Students in Action Spring Competition. This team will go on to compete at the National ceremony in Washington D.C.
The Students in Action program is founded on three pillars: 1) Leadership- Developing current & future leadership potential within students 2) Promoting the value of service and growing volunteerism within the school community and 3) Measuring the impact of volunteerism and rewarding the efforts of those who participate.