It is with great sorrow that we shared the news that our Nicholas Academic Centers Co-Founder, the Honorable Judge Jack K. Mandel, passed away on December 24, 2020. Judge Mandel's endles generosity was a major force of change in the Santa Ana community. He devoted more than two decades of his life to the mission of helping Santa Ana youth attend and graduate from college. Judge Mandel and his wife Judy Mandel impacted many individuals through his Stay-in-School program in the late 80s and the Santa Ana High School Judge’s Kids Program in the 90s. The success of the Judge’s Kids Program became the blueprint Judge Mandel and Dr. Henry T. Nicholas, III used to launch what is now the Nicholas Academic Centers. Judge Mandel was a continued loving and guiding presence in our centers for 13 years, both as Chairman Of The Board and as a mentor for many youth. Judge Mandel’s greatest joy was seeing his “Judge’s Kids” and his “NAC Kids” succeed in college and in life. He will be missed immensely by his wife Judy, 3 sons, 8 grandchildren, and the many individuals whose lives he touched throughout his lifetime.
We will strive to carry on Judge Mandel's legacy and to continue his mission following the Jewish philosophy of Tikkun Olam they same way he did; honorably taking on our individual and collective responsibility of helping heal our broken world, one student at a time.