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HAP Returns, Marks 55th Anniversary

For the 55th year, Xavier’s Higher Achievement Program (HAP) is bringing rising eighth graders from across the metropolitan area to 16th Street. Through the program, students have had the opportunity to learn more about Xavier, enrich themselves through academics and athletics, experience the myriad offerings of the surrounding neighborhood, and make new friends across five weeks.

Each summer, young men from across New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and New Jersey seek to challenge themselves academically and physically, enhance their maturity, and get a small glimpse of what Jesuit education is all about. All of this, and more, is achieved through HAP.

This summer has seen the program back in full swing—giving prospective Sons the full HAP experience that will challenge their minds and their bodies.

“In a few short weeks, strangers have become fast friends and students have comported themselves quite well in their new surroundings,” said HAP Director Patrick Mahon ’04.

During this time, students have been surrounded by a staff of teachers, all of whom have connections to Jesuit education, and dedicated mentors.

“Working with HAP participants has been a fantastic way to get to know prospective Knights,” said HAP teacher Katherine Barres. “These high achievers make me feel optimistic about the future of the Xavier community!”

Throughout the program, students find themselves engaging in subjects ranging from mathematics to critical reading and writing, science to technology, as well as several arts programs and electives—esports and media studies among them.

Students also have some cultural experiences to look forward to—with field trips beginning today.

“Venues include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Morgan Library and Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Museum of the Moving Image,” said Mahon.

This year also marks the return of the famed HAP games—a friendly, annual summer competition against Xavier’s rivals across the river, Saint Peter's Prep. Much like last year, students get the bonus of participating in intramural sports daily.

“We’re thrilled to see the HAP games return,” said Mahon. “Xavier will compete with HAP students from Saint Peter's Prep in basketball, soccer, chess, track, volleyball, and dodgeball. The games begin next Tuesday and conclude on July 26.”

Students still have much to look forward to in the weeks ahead. The program is set to conclude on July 28.

“As a former HAP tutor, it is always a pleasure seeing prospective students make Xavier their home for 5 weeks,” said HAP teacher Anthony Obas ’16. "They are meeting the guys who can potentially be their friends for life. It gives the boys a great deal of confidence in themselves and the place they may call their home next few years.”