Our city is full of hidden gems and unknown treasures, and The Academy Middle School is certainly one of them. Operated by Jericho Partnership’s Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries (PDYM), the Academy is a fully accredited 6th – 8th grade school for boys who are facing challenges in life; its overarching mission is to help these boys “become men of honor.”
Virtually all Academy students are awarded scholarships to the private school, which offers a Christian education and small class sizes (12-13 students).
“The greatest benefit for Academy students is that each one gets the attention he needs, which gets him started on the path to success,” said Headmaster Everette Hutchins. “Our students develop close, trusting relationships with all the teachers and their classmates.”
The Academy is currently enrolling students for the 2017-18 academic year; students interested to learn if they qualify can call Headmaster Hutchins at (203) 205-0954.
The Academy – which can accommodate 48 students in total and has traditionally served Danbury’s African American community – has been expanding its reach and is now serving more students from the Latino community. In fact, it is serving students of many ethnicities.
“Our school is very diverse,” said Hutchins. “A recent survey showed that our students reflect more than 20 different countries across five continents, many of which are Latin/Hispanic. We are a true reflection of Danbury.”
Beyond receiving individualized attention and gaining a Christian worldview, the students who attend the Academy have access to a variety of other services and opportunities, all free of cost:
- The opportunity to have a long-term mentor with whom to navigate life, provided through Pathways Danbury Boys Mentoring program, another program of Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries. PDYM also has a thriving girls’ mentoring program, Naomi Mentoring.
- The opportunity to attend the S.A.Y. Yes! after-school program (another program of PDYM), which offers reading buddies, tutors and entrance to its annual summer learning camp.
- Uniforms, textbooks, school supplies, transportation to and from school, daily breakfast and lunch.
“We really can’t overstate the benefit our students have by being part of the PDYM family,” said Graciela Garabedian, a member of the PDYM Board of Directors. “The kids here don’t fall through the cracks. We show them their potential and we help them achieve it. Whether they need help with math homework, help with a situation at home or help getting into a college, our teachers and mentors are there for them.”
Students say that the Academy has been vital to their educational success.
“I’ve had a lot of one-to-one help here, which has helped me come out of my laziness,” said Michai Edwards, a graduating eighth grader. “The teachers here encourage me to do better. Now I know I can be more successful in high school.”
“I came here in the seventh grade,” said graduating eighth grader Ma-Lyke Davis. “It’s good; it’s definitely helped me more than the public schools did. I didn’t get the attention I needed in public school. My grades are a lot better and I have more confidence in myself since coming here.”
“Pathways Danbury Youth Ministries represents the hope and opportunity that most parents want for their children,” Hutchins said. “We strive to lift the burden off the parents and help them to achieve the educational dreams they have for their children. Come visit and see for yourself!”