Success Academy Charter Schools is a network of charter schools that operate in New York City. Ninety three percent of their student body consists of children of color. Success Academy heavily acknowledges this fact and strives to understand and guide children of color through their struggles as people of color. The school puts a lot of effort into understanding the complex social factors, issues and cultural aspects that are relevant to children of color, and to inspire children to go forward in their lives and succeed despite these challenges. They strive to appreciate the uniqueness and inner qualities of each child.
Success Academy does many things to break down barriers for children of color and to help them develop healthy identities and clear goals. The school frequently touches down on the topic of race in very healthy ways. For example, in February of 2017, special guest speakers were featured at Success Academy Harlem East. These speakers were successful African American professionals who spoke to the students about college life. The students, themselves, were five years away from graduating high school. This event was called “The Black College Experience,” and it was held to celebrate Black History Month while inspiring African American students by showing them examples of African American professionals who traversed through the same struggles as them and made it out as success stories.
Another effort to inspire children of color is the Girls’ Group in Success Academy Crown Heights—started in 2014. The Girls’ Group is an after school club that meets every Wednesday. The girls who attend this club eat lunch, chat with each other and discuss social issues. The entire club consists of girls of color because most of the student body in the school consists of children of color. This is a great spot for girls to talk about their concerns relating to their experiences as girls of color. The point of this club is to develop healthy identities as women, critical thinking skills and an interest in relevant social issues.