Atlanta Youth Academy (AYA) has one core mission - to provide quality, Christian education for the urban poor, giving children the necessary stepping stones for future educational
and individual success. Established in the old blacksmith shop on the FCS Urban Ministries Campus, AYA prides itself on an educational philosophy that combines personal attention
with vital curriculum - reading, writing, mathematics, history, science - taught by committed teachers who also emphasize strong moral and character development. The learning
environment at AYA nurtures students. By limiting class size to no more than 15 students and instituting a 10-month school year, AYA helps students reach their fullest potential.
Atlanta native Larry Teem founded Atlanta Youth Academy in 1997. In the early '90s, Larry founded and directed the Atlanta Youth Project, an inner-city sports and summer camp
program. After running these programs for several years, Larry realized that at-risk urban youth needed positive influences surrounding them for more extended time periods to
break the poverty cycle. His vision for Atlanta Youth Academy was to create a Christian school providing a challenging academic education that catapults students onto a successful
track. Atlanta Youth Academy is the realization of this vision for a demanding, Christ-centered preparatory school for urban youth.
Atlanta Youth Academy owes much of its current strength to the early sacrifices of Leroy and Donna Barber. When the school was no more than a dream, they left their home in Philadelphia
to become Atlanta Youth Academy's founding executive director and founding principal, respectively. Under their early leadership, the school grew from one teacher, nine students
and minimal resources towards the school that AYA is today.
Atlanta Youth Academy has found that a rigorous, traditional college preparatory course of study boosts our students to enhanced achievement. AYA draws heavily upon professional
friends at Westminster, Lovett and other respected schools for our choice of programs.
Having outgrown its original location on Glenwood Avenue, AYA moved to a more spacious facility in the East Lake community. In January 2008 the school moved to a prime 13-acre
site in the Thomasville/Norwood Manor neighborhood of Southeast Atlanta.
Director of Development