Not-for-profit school, Academy Prep, honors young scholars in St. Petersburg

Images of Academy Prep happy students in school

Academy Prep Center of St. Petersburg is hosting their annual Breakfast for Scholars, presented by TechData, on Thursday, October 22, at 9:00 AM. This event is normally held in person, but in these unprecedented times, Academy Prep has elected to transition to a virtual event. Proceeds will support the Student Scholarship Fund.

Breakfast for Scholars brings together members of the St. Petersburg community to learn how the unique educational program offered at Academy Prep is preparing our region’s next generation of leaders, to celebrate the success of Academy Prep current students, and to honor one of their deserving graduates with the Ben Fisher Alumni Mentoring Award.

You can pre-register for this event free of charge here.

Academy Prep is a not-for-profit middle school in St. Petersburg that was founded in 1997. It was modeled after the Nativity Miguel Network of Schools, which has helped economically disadvantaged children utilize and value their education. 

In our society, we face a widespread lack of access to quality education in a stable, supportive environment. Students across Tampa Bay deserve to have their dreams of success fostered. Academy Prep aims to inspire and empower students to become future community leaders through a rigorous middle school program coupled with ongoing graduate support. 

Academy Prep achieves this goal in three main ways: by providing an exemplary college prep middle school education, expansive extracurricular and enrichment activities, and a minimum of eight years of one-on-one support for all graduates through high school, college, and into their careers. Since 2005, when the graduate support program was implemented, Academy Prep has seen a 97% on-time high school graduation rate.  

Earlier this year, Academy Prep took swift action to protect their students and families during the pandemic by intensely preparing for the shift to a virtual learning environment. As a result, Academy Prep is now serving more students than ever before, and experiencing record-high retention rates. Students are continuing to receive the personalized attention and dynamic learning environment that are hallmarks of an AP education leading to high levels of engagement, consistent attendance, outstanding standardized test results, and positive academic outcomes. 

Academy Prep is still meeting for virtual convocation every morning where all 139 scholars, teachers, faculty, and staff, gather for inspirational messages and to collectively recite their inspirational school pledge. They have a dedicated full-time faculty and AmeriCorps teaching fellows who inspire the students to do their best every day in a full schedule consisting of core academic courses, specialty courses such as foreign language and physical education, and engaging enrichment activities. 

Academy Prep offers invaluable resources and a wide range of experiences to its students. This fall, students have participated in new and engaging virtual activities such as Basketball Breakdown, Creative Writing, Rap/Beat Making, Nature and Film, STEM/Robotics, Brain Games, Self Care Club, Girls’ Club, Leadership, Comics and Anime Creation, Dance, and Music. Students are still receiving individualized attention and can seek extra help with their core classes in the evening during virtual study hall.   

Students who attend Academy Prep must qualify for the free or reduced-price federal school meals program, setting their income near the U.S. poverty line. With the pandemic limiting the students’ contact with the school, Academic Prep has created a weekly pick up plan to ensure that students can still receive the breakfast, lunch, and healthy snack they are regularly provided.  

Recently, Academy Prep installed a new Little Free Library on campus in honor of International Literacy Day. The Little Free Library is a free book exchange. Currently, it is filled with over 100 diverse books aimed at middle schoolers. The goal is to inspire a love of reading in our community and foster neighborhood book exchanges.

This school holds such a special place in the heart of our community. These students are the greatest and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for them. 

Academy Prep’s Breakfast for Scholars is on Thursday, October 22, at 9:00 AM. Don’t forget to pre-register for this event free of cost here

I Love the Burg is a proud sponsor of the Breakfast for Scholars.

Virtual Sponsorships are available!  Please contact Lacey Miller, Director of Development at 727.322.0800 x 2109 or lnashmiller@academyprep.org

If you cannot attend Breakfast for Scholars but would still like to make a gift in support of Academy Prep scholars please visit : bit.ly/GiveAPSP

All proceeds will directly benefit the Student Scholarship Fund at Academy Prep.  

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Written by Kacy Vance

Kacy Vance

Kacy is a freelance writer for I Love the Burg. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a degree in Mass Communications and Criminology. Her thesis on Deaf and Disability representation in the media was published as part of the DePauw University Ethics Symposium in 2018.