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nicholas academic centers

Nicholas Academic Centers, Class of 2012

The Nicholas Academic Centers 4th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration (11/16/2012)

On Friday, November 16, the Nicholas Academic Centers held its 4th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Celebration. More than 300 people attended this year's event at Valley High School in Santa Ana, including NAC Co-Founders Ret. Judge Jack K. Mandel and Henry T. Nicholas III, PhD, as well as City of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel A. Pulido, and a great number of our community leaders and wonderful NAC students. We would like to thank the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation for hosting this year's event.


OC Reg, "Broadcom Co-Founder Henry T. Nicholas And Retired Judge Jack Mandel Get Keys To Santa Ana"


SANTA ANA – Henry T. Nicholas, III, co-founder of Broadcom, and retired judge Jack K. Mandel received keys to the city for their contributions to Santa Ana and the Nicholas Academic Centers.

The rare presentation came at the beginning of the City Council meeting on Monday, July 2.

Mayor Miguel Pulido honored them for their commitment to the youth of Santa Ana and their work with the Nicholas Academic Centers. He said it had been at least 10 years since the last key was bestowed.

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Super Smart with a Helping Heart: 2010 NAC Alum Ivonne Huitron

On a recommendation from a former teacher, Ivonne Huitron took a chance and checked out the Nicholas Academic Centers at Valley High School shortly after NAC II’s opening in January of 2009. She soon realized that many of her friends had already joined and it didn’t take long before Ivonne became a NAC regular. A year and a half later, she found herself graduating from Valley and transitioning into UC Irvine. She says, “I have the NAC to thank for getting me through the college application process and everything crazy that comes with it.” Now preparing to enter her third year at UCI, Ivonne has plenty to say about focusing on academics while leaving time for volunteering and hanging out with friends and family.

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What the Letters on the Sweaters Really Say: A Look at the 4th Annual NAC Graduation Celebration

On Saturday, June 9, 2012, over 400 people gathered at theWestin South Coast Plazain Costa Mesa to celebrate the accomplishments of the NAC’s 81 graduating seniors from the 2012 class. Friends, family, high school counselors & administrators, community leaders, and more shared an evening of great music, delicious food, and inspiring stories and speeches.

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From Santa Ana to Georgetown with Class of 2010 NAC Alum Mariana Hernandez

Since the doors of NAC I opened in 2008, many students have passed through its halls. They come from different backgrounds and join for different reasons, but they are united in their purpose – their desire to overcome the odds and make college a reality. Most NAC students juggle an incredible amount of responsibilities and make sacrifices daily in pursuit of their educational goals. One such student, NAC alum Mariana Hernandez, did just that while earning the title of Valedictorian of Santa Ana High School in 2010.

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NAC Senior Ashley Blanco & Her Team Win the National "Cooking Up Change" Competition in D.C.

Recently, Ashley and her classmates/teammates, Alex Hernandez and Ivan Lopez capitalized on their culinary skills and entered the “Cooking Up Change” competition, a national campaign created to advocate for “policies and practices that allow all students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment.” This is the campaign’s first year in California, an expansion made possible by sponsorships from Kid Healthy and Northgate Markets.

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Judge Jack K. Mandel is Dr. Mandel Now

On Saturday, May 12, the Hon. Jack K. Mandel received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from his new alma mater, Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Morningside recognized Judge Mandel with the honorary degree for his work with high school students in Santa Ana, California. During the commencement, Dr. Mandel spoke to more than 250 graduates on the campus lawn in front of the Hickman-Johnson-Furrow Learning Center. In his speech, Dr. Mandel thanked the board of trustees & the President of Morningside College, his wife Judy for her full-time support, and Dr. Nicholas for his passion & generosity. "Because of what Dr. Nicholas has provided," said the Judge, "[NAC students] will play a prominent role in their community for the next 40 years; they are tomorrow’s leaders."

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HJRCA 29, Marsy's Law for Illinois, House vote Feb 8, 2012, video presentation

The Illinois House overwhelmingly voted 116-2 in favor of Marsy’s Law for Illinois, a constitutional amendment that would provide victims of crime with enforceable legal rights that will protect their safety and ensure they are aware of their attackers’ whereabouts. Currently, crime victims have legal rights under Illinois law, but they are not enforceable. For example, victims are guaranteed the right to be informed of court proceedings, but some victims never learn about hearings until after the fact.

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Supporters of Marsy’s Law urge Illinois Senate to pass resolution protecting crime victims against future attacks

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., March 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Victims’ rights advocates gathered at the state Capitol today to rally support for an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would legally enforce victims’ rights and help protect thousands of people who have suffered violent crimes.
Marsy’s Law for Illinois, also known as HJRCA 29, provides crime victims with enforceable legal rights that protect their safety and ensure they are aware of their attackers’ whereabouts. Currently, victims have legal rights under Illinois law, but they are not enforceable.

“We need to pass this resolution to fix the broken victims’ rights laws that currently prevail in our state constitution,” said Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, director of Marsy’s Law for Illinois. “Illinois is the only state that actually bars the enforcement of victims’ rights. Marsy’s Law not only gives victims a voice in the process, but it also empowers them with a true sense of safety and security. We should be focusing on protecting victims and their families, not putting them at risk of further trauma.”

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Illinois House Votes Overwhelmingly, 116-2, to Adopt Marsy’s Law For Illinois

Springfield, IL – Today the Illinois House overwhelmingly voted 116-2 in favor of Marsy’s Law for Illinois, a constitutional amendment that would provide victims of crime with enforceable legal rights that will protect their safety and ensure they are aware of their attackers’ whereabouts. Currently, crime victims have legal rights under Illinois law, but they are not enforceable.

For example, victims are guaranteed the right to be informed of court proceedings, but some victims never learn about hearings until after the fact; victims are guaranteed the right to be present at trials and hearings about their case, but many are excluded from the process; and victims are guaranteed the right to present a written statement to the court about the impact of the violent crime on them, but many have been denied the opportunity. Marsy’s Law for Illinois, sponsored by Representative Lou Lang, would make the laws enforceable by giving crime victims the right to go to court and ask that the right they were denied be enforced.

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Emmy-Winning Documentarian To Lecture At The Nicholas Academic Centers The Latest In Chapman University's "Visiting Scholars Series" Also Will Feature A Presentation On "Health And Media Literacy" In America

ORANGE, Calif., Mar 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sandra Robbie, who wrote and produced the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary Mendez vs. Westminster: For All the Children / Para Todos los Ninos, will speak on Saturday, March 19 at the Nicholas Academic Center Annex in downtown Santa Ana (from 9 a.m. to noon at 313 North Birch Street, 2nd floor; the event is open to the public).

The documentarian, who works at Chapman University, will be joined by Professor Lisa Sparks, who will discuss the importance of "Health and Media Literacy" in the United States. The lectures are part of the 2011 "Visiting Scholars Series," in which Chapman University faculty and staff have discussed a broad range of subjects--from the origins of mathematics to how to build a video game--with students, parents and community members. The series is aimed at introducing high school students from underserved communities in Santa Ana to a college academic environment, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities.

Robbie's film tells the story of the 1946 Orange County case that ended legal school segregation in California seven years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

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Family Turns To Marsy's Law In Torture Case Parole Hearing

California authorities have denied parole to a man who brutally tortured, disfigured and left disabled his former girlfriend in 2001. Gregory Patrick Beck, who is serving a sentence in Corcoran state prison for inflicting grave injury, was denied parole for 10 years. Sherry Carlton was 32 years old when Beck soaked her with lighter fluid and intentionally set her on fire. She lives today in a care home in Lake County, is blind and cannot speak, walk or otherwise care for herself without assistance. Her stepmother, Michelle Carlton, credited Marsy's Law with enabling the parole board to impose a long parole hearing denial. "We can finally breathe again," Michelle Carlton said.

Before passage of the California Constitutional Amendment in 2008, the maximum denial for a parole hearing was three years in murder cases and two years in all others. Now parole can be denied for up to seven, 10, and even 15 years in murder cases. The two-member panel of the California Board of Parole Hearing found that Beck was unsuitable for release because of his failure to be rehabilitated, combined with the highly callous, vicious and atrocious nature of the attack. Nearly100 letters were presented by community members outraged by the prospect of Beck's parole. Also presented were photos of Sherry Carlton prior to the attack, showing a strikingly beautiful blonde woman.

Dr. Nicholas was honored to have been contacted recently by the parents of Sherry Carlton, who wanted to express their thanks for Marsy's Law. We are gratified that Marsy's Law made a difference but its contribution pales when compared to the Carlton's strength of character and will. We humbly share their note to Dr. Nicholas...

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OC Register: "Nobelist Gives Teens Econ 101 Lesson"


What was stranger? A Nobel laureate leaving his cushy campus confines to meet with teens in a Santa Ana barrio on a Saturday morning, or 30 teens taking him up on his offer to learn something about, uh ... economics?

There we were Saturday, on the renovated second floor of an old theater on the corner of Fourth and Birch, space leased by the Nicholas Academic Center, the tutoring program funded by Henry Nicholas. Our instructors: Vernon L. Smith of Chapman University, the 2002 Nobel winner in economics, and Bart Wilson, another campus economist.

They ran two experiments that showed how two famous but seemingly contradictory quotes by economist Adam Smith could be reconciled. The first: "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." The second: "How selfish soever man may be supposed, there are evidently some principles in his nature which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it."

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CBS Sacramento: "Schwarzenegger To Be Sued Over Marsy’s Law"

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The family of a college student who was stabbed to death two years ago plans to file a lawsuit on Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court against Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Santos family of northern California will claim that former Governor Schwarzenegger violated their constitutional rights.

Just hours before leaving office, Arnold Schwarzenegger reduced the prison time for the son of politician and friend Fabian Nunez, the former Speaker of the Assembly. Esteban Nunez was serving 16 years for manslaughter in the death of college student Luis Santos.

Schwarzenegger commuted Nunez’s sentence down to seven years in prison, angering Santos family members, who were never notified, they say in violation of Marsy’s Law.

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Nicholas Academic Centers Complete “2010 Visiting Scholar Series” With Chapman University

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Nicholas Academic Centers on Saturday hosted the final segment in their monthly “2010 Visiting Scholar Series,” conducted in collaboration with Chapman University. Since September, high school students from Santa Ana have heard Chapman professors discuss topics ranging from the origin of mathematics to indigenous cultures. The lecture series will be expanded in the spring semester, starting in January 2011.

The series is designed to introduce students to a college academic environment, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities.

“This has been a very valuable partnership with Chapman University and we plan to build on it with more lectures next year,” said Dr. Corina A. Espinoza, Assistant Executive Director of the Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs). “We are reaching students at a time when they are making critical decisions about their future and we want them to see firsthand how meaningful, and fun, the college experience can be.”

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Chapman University Chancellor To Speak At Nicholas Academic Centers’ “Visiting Scholar Series”

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Chapman University Chancellor Dr. Daniele Struppa will highlight the third segment in the Nicholas Academic Centers’ four-part “Visiting Scholar Series” on Saturday. Since the monthly lectures began in September, students have heard Chapman University professors speak on indigenous cultures, Renaissance art, social media and geological satellite technology. The ground-breaking program is designed to expose Santa Ana high school students to a college atmosphere, while strengthening ties with highly respected local universities.

“The partnership between Chapman University and the Nicholas Academic Centers has heightened students’ interest in college and particularly top local institutions,” said Dr. Corina A. Espinoza, assistant executive director of the Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs). “We are privileged to have Dr. Struppa join with us to impact our students at such a critical juncture in their lives.”

Struppa, a distinguished mathematician, will discuss “What is Mathematics?” and how students can perform math problems in a fun and engaging method. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Carmichael Peters, will seek to identify a conceptual and intuitional answer to the question “Is there a point to living? And if so, what is it?”

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Nicholas Academic Centers Partner With Chapman University To Host “Visiting Scholar Series”

SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing their commitment to strengthen relationships with top local universities, the Nicholas Academic Centers are partnering with Chapman University to host a Visiting Scholar Series beginning on Saturday, Sept. 25. The purpose of the series is to expose NAC students to college-level learning and the academic excellence offered by highly respected universities such as Chapman.

“We are delighted that Chapman University is partnering with the Nicholas Academic Centers for the Visiting Scholar Series,” said Dr. Corina A. Espinoza, assistant executive director of the Nicholas Academic Centers (NACs). “This project speaks to Chapman’s commitment, but also is a testament to Judge Mandel’s and Dr. Nicholas’ commitment to preparing students for a college-level education and giving them the tools they need to succeed.”

Associate Professor of American Studies at Chapman, Paul Apodaca, will deliver the first lecture titled “Valuing Our Lives” and Assistant Professor of Art History, Liliana Leopardi, will speak about “Love and Magic in Renaissance Italy.” The lectures will take place monthly until December, at the Nicholas Academic Center I Annex in downtown Santa Ana. Speakers include Mildred Lewis, Hesham El-Askary, Carmichael Peters and Chapman University Chancellor, Dr. Daniele C. Struppa. The lectures are open to the community.

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Bonnie B's Smokin, Barbecue Heaven needs your help!

Bonnie B's Smokin, Barbecue Heaven, a graduate of the Mama’s Small Business Kitchen Incubator funded by the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation, is up for Pasadena Weekly’s “The Best BBW in Pasadena” and “Best New Restaurant.” Visitors can go to and click on Vote Best of Pasadena in the top-right corner. You can vote as many times as you like! Thank you!

Nicholas Academic Centers Celebrate Record Graduation Results

Broadcom Co-Founder Henry Nicholas Honors 66 High-Potential, High-Risk Seniors; Many Are Attending Top Colleges

Newport Coast, CA.—June 2—The Nicholas Academic Centers at an evening ceremony today celebrated the “Magic of Santa Ana” with the graduation of 66 seniors, nearly triple last year’s results. Most of the new graduates will attend four-year colleges and universities, including some of the world’s best such as Georgetown, Smith, Haverford, UC Berkeley and UCLA.

“What we have done is to help these students realize their true potential by removing the unfair barriers to their success that should never have been there in the first place,” said Nicholas, co-founder and former Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom. “That’s similar to what we did at Broadcom. We recruited the best of the best and then removed any barriers that might prevent them from achieving greatness.”

During Nicholas’ tenure as Broadcom’s CEO, the company reached $1 billion in revenue faster than any other semiconductor company in history.

Nicholas has made a long-term commitment to what he calls the “Magic of Santa Ana”—his vision of investing in education to change the lives of young people and prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders. The vision is that students who graduate from the Nicholas Academic Centers will return to their hometown as leaders who will work to remove barriers to success for future generations. The Centers also are partnering with the University of California, Irvine to find ways to scale the program to reach students everywhere.

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Nicholas Tutoring Centers Target Expansion

SANTA ANA – UC Irvine and the two Nicholas Academic Centers, started by Broadcom co-founder Henry T. Nicholas III, will enter a partnership that could lead to the expansion of the after-school tutoring and mentoring programs throughout the county

Researchers with the university's education department will help establish benchmarks for tracking students after they leave the program, in college and beyond, and recommend strategies to expand the reach and scope of the program.

Officials will make the announcement Wednesday during a ceremony at Nicholas' Newport Coast home for 66 graduating seniors who were mentored through the program.

"We are excited to work with one of the nation's best universities to help determine how we can grow and increase our impact," said Corina Espinoza, the centers' newly appointed assistant executive director. "We have accomplished great results and now we want to accelerate our performance."

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Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III Joins Dedication of "Gordon's House" at Habitat for Humanity Ceremony

Contributions from Broadcom Co-Founder’s Foundation Helped Fund New Homes for Several Families in Need

Westminster, CA—Jan. 16, 2010—An Orange County family received keys today to their brand new home built through a partnership between the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County in honor of the late Episcopal priest Reverend Canon Gordon B. Yeaton, Jr.

Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, with Episcopal Diocese Bishop J. Jon Bruno, helped present the keys and the mortgage contract to the Martinez-Moran family. Since 2007, the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation has granted $600,000 to Habitat for Humanity, including $100,000 for the construction of Gordon’s House to honor Rev. Yeaton, board member of Habitat for Humanity of Orange County who died in 2007.

Dr. Nicholas attended the event to praise the Diocese and Habitat for their contribution to families and to honor the Martinez-Moran family for their ability to overcome hardships.

“By contributing to this important and gratifying partnership, we are bestowing not only homes, but hope in the lives of people who have overcome adversity,” said Dr. Nicholas, the Broadcom Corporation co-founder who established the foundation in 2006. “This project aligns with our Foundation’s goals of improving communities and individual lives and I want to thank the Episcopal Church and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County for allowing us to be a part of it.”

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Hundreds Tour Pasadena Incubator During Community Open House

 Local Entrepreneurs Get a Boost With Services Offered at Mama’s Small Business Kitchen Incubator, funded by a $1.2 million grant from the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation

The Community Open House at Mama’s Small Business Kitchen Incubator Jan 9th brought together the entrepreneurship of Broadcom co-founder’s Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III, and the community commitment of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Bishop J. Jon Bruno to showcase a partnership in which fledgling business owners are given the tools to succeed.

Several successful graduates of the program - each now operating their own small businesses - participated in Saturday’s program, including famed food truck, the Flying Pig, and recently-opened restaurant Bonnie B’s Smokin Barbeque Heaven.

The Kitchen Incubator enables entrepreneurs just starting a business to prepare their products in a 1,500-square-foot fully-equipped and licensed kitchen. Mama’s Small Business Incubator is a community and economic development project of the Episcopal Housing Alliance, a subsidiary agency created by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. The incubator also offers free classes on how to manage business affairs.

The program is sponsored by $1.2 million in grants from the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation, which applies Dr. Nicholas’ vision of “philanthro-preneurship” to make charitable donations that have lasting impact by combining them with successful business practices. With the Incubator, Dr. Nicholas requires specific milestones to be met before giving more funds, in order to ensure accountability and performance.

The Open House was a great way for the community to learn about the wonderful services offered at the Incubator and it was also a good way for entrepreneurs to showcase their talent. Another event showcasing the Incubator will take place in late spring.

Investing in people and their futures


The Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation was created in 2006 with the vision of enabling and assisting communities and individuals to reach their highest potential. The Foundation is dedicated to improving lives through investment in Education, Youth Sports, Technology, Science, Medical Research, Victim's Rights, and National Defense.

Since its inception, the Foundation has provided more than $2.7 million to numerous public charities and non-profit organizations engaged in helping people build better lives for themselves and their neighbors.

The theme that unites the Foundation's various efforts into a single mission is investing in people and their futures:

  • Grants are provided to help young people build strong educational and athletic foundations that will lead to healthy, productive and successful lives as adults.
  • Advancement in science, technology and medicine is supported because these fields are the key to future health and prosperity for people and communities.
  • Aid and support is provided to help violent crime victims and their families, and to assist the heroes who defend our nation and their families, because without safety and security there is no future.

Marsy's Law for Illinois, Springfield Lobby Day 3/8/12

Illinois House Votes Overwhelmingly, 116-2, to Adopt Marsy's Law for Illinois, the Constitutional Ammendment That Would Enforce Legal Rights of Crime Victims.  

Click the image above to view the Flickr photo set


 Illinois House Votes Overwhelmingly, 116-2, to Adopt Marsy's Law for Illinois, the Constitutional Ammendment That Would Enforce Legal Rights of Crime Victims.

Click the image above to view the Flickr photo set

Dr. Nicholas was a guest on Feb. 23 at the annual luncheon for
supporters of the Oakland Military Institute, a 6th-12th grade
charter school established by California Gov. Jerry Brown when
he was Mayor of Oakland. OMI's inner-city students go on to pursue
college educations at more than double the rate of students from
other public schools in the area.

Click the image above to view images from the event.

Lynette Duncan leaves the R.J. Donovan
Correctional Facility with attorney Michael Fell and
Marsy's Law for All President Andy Hong, left, after
giving a statement against parole for Brett Thomas.
Duncan told state parole commissioners, "I can still
hear the sound of the gunshot." 

Click the image above to read the full story

Chapman University Asst. Professor Mildred Lewis
addresses NAC students during her lecture in
the second Chapman Visiting Scholar Series:
“Downloaded, YouTube’d, 3-D’d, and
Flickr’d: Media Aesthetics in a Multiplatform Digital World.”

Click the image above to read the full story

UCI Vice Chancellor makes a point to Nicholas Academic
Centers students visiting the UCI campus.
“Day at the Bay” with UC Irvine is part
of an effort by the After-School Tutoring and
Mentoring Program to Work with Top Institutions.

Click the image above to read the full story

Raul Tapia, Judge Jack Mandel, Henry Nicholas
and Corina Espinoza at the 2010 Nicholas Academic
Center graduation celebration. (June 2, 2010)

Click the image above to read the full story

Tutor Daniel Alvarado is congratulated by
former Broadcom CEO Henry T. Nicholas III for
being accepted to his alma mater, UCLA, at the
Nicholas Academy Center.

Click the image above to read the full story

The Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation presented the
'Gordon's House' keys to the Martinez-Moran family
during a Habitat for Humanity dedication ceremony.

Click the image above to watch a video from the event.
Click the image below to see photos from the event.

Entrepreneurs Showcase Talent at Mama’s Incubator
during Community Open House, sponsored by
the Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation

Click the image above to see more photos

Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III celebrates Thanksgiving
with students at the Nicholas Academic Center.

Click the images above to watch the video

The Henry T. Nicholas, III Foundation
is honored by the Episcopal Diocese
of Orange County for its support of
Habitat for Humanity.

Click the images to watch videos about the
construction of Gordon's House (above)
and of homes for military veterans (below)

If your organization is engaged in any of these areas and in advancing the cause of the future, please visit our grant application page or contact us directly.