With its dedication to developing the minds, bodies and spirits of students so that they become productive members of society, and its beautiful, state of the art campus hidden on the top of a hill in Stanton Heights, The Neighborhood Academy (TNA) may well be the city’s best-kept secret when it comes to education.
The faith-based independent college preparatory school for grades 8-12 has a mission to break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income youth for college and citizenship, and a record that proves it’s doing just that. For yet another year, according to the school, every senior in the class of 2014 will graduate and has been accepted to a four-year college or university.
“The importance of Neighborhood Academy lies in several areas. One, we’ve created an environment that is stable, it’s conducive to learning, it’s non-violent, it’s orderly, and where our students have a profound and powerful sense of belonging, of being seen, and known and cared for. I think that differs from many of the surrounding schools,” said Rev. Thomas Johnson Jr., co-founder and head of the school. “And second, we have an agenda here and we’re absolutely crystal clear about that agenda. We’re here to shape character, we’re here to send our kids to college and we’re here to make sure our kids graduate from college.”