A calling made good slowly but surely, like the Little Engine That Could, something remarkable has been climbing and climbing in Pittsburgh’s East End. It started as a vision to help children for whom effective guidance and results had been wanting.
The Neighborhood Academy’s mission is to “break the cycle of generational poverty by preparing low-income youth for higher education and productive citizenship.” And it has emerged as a model for alternative education, with 100 percent of its graduates being accepted into a four-year college or university. Ninety percent of those have graduated from college or are still in school. The academy, which currently has 75 students in grades eight through 12, is celebrating its 10th year on an ambitious crescendo. It has just completed construction of a new and permanent home, the result of a $10 million capital campaign begun in 2008 that exceeded its goal by $300,000. The new 7.8-acre campus in Stanton Heights includes a 26,000-square-foot athletic facility, which the academy hopes to lease and generate $250,000 a year for operaations. The 24,000-square foot academic building also features a $100,000 science lab donated by LANXESS, the global chemical company. The new building is able to hold up to 120 students, whose $20,000 tuition is paid, in part by donations from the community. For their undaunted and successful efforts, we’re putting the academy staff, its founders Jodie Moore and the Rev. Thomas Johnson, and the community that supports it on the pedestal as an example of believing in and creating solutions to one of our society’s most pressing problems. For more information, visit www.theneighborhoodacademy.org.
In the stocks: Saks Fifth Avenue — Parting with Pittsburgh