Mission & Values
The Atlanta Youth Academy exists to advance the kingdom of God by offering an excellent Christ-centered education to low-income, urban communities.
20 years strong!
Atlanta Youth Academy initially grew out of an after school program created and led by Larry Teem. He recognized the positive impact a year-round youth program could have on low-income urban children, and he envisioned the creation of an academy with a mission to transform the lives of students and families. As a result, AYA was founded in 1997 to serve the spiritual, intellectual, and social needs of our city’s youth.
AYA began with one classroom, one teacher, and nine students; but the school grew quickly, adding students and grades each year, with the first eighth grade class graduating in 2004. Having outgrown the original space, AYA relocated to the Thomasville Heights neighborhood in 2007, where we continue to shine light within the community. Currently serving 150 students in pre-K through eighth grade, AYA offers a rigorous college preparatory curriculum on par with top independent schools. In addition, AYA students are exposed to unique experiences beyond the academic program with a focus on specific areas including faith, leadership, etiquette, public speaking, and service learning.
- We provide students with a superior education by upholding the highest academic standards.
- We prepare students for the best academic and social futures in high school, college and beyond.
- We urge students to live up to their Christ-given potential by nurturing Christian character traits.
- We encourage, in each student, a strong sense of purpose and conviction for serving others.
- We maintain intimate class sizes in order to provide the level of personal attention each student needs.
- We look to the Lord, Jesus Christ, as the Servant Teacher and mentor students to pattern themselves after Him in all areas of life.
- Ultimately, we prepare well-rounded students poised to become the next generation of great leaders.