Academy of Scholastic Achievement
Spring/Summer 2016
Ascending a spiral staircase to march into New Zion, 45 graduates of ASA basked in the cheers and congratulations of faculty and family. Delivering messages of triumph and encouragement were keynote speaker Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin, valedictorian Sarah Ford and salutatorian Kandyn Hatley. ASA is proud of its graduates!   
   Visit the photo gallery on our school website and Facebook page for more pictures.  
Plans for the upcoming school year include training for A+ certification for computer repair. The training program is part of a thrust at ASA to provide more resources for students looking for skills training and jobs. Recently, Ray Bentley (second from right in photo) of Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership gathered speakers from several agencies to talk to students about jobs and careers after graduation.
Kyla Whaley Wins Third Unitarian Church Austin Scholarship  
Kyla Whaley was one of 17 proud recipients of the 42nd annual Third Unitarian Church Austin Scholarship in late May. The $1,000 scholarship will help with expenses at City Colleges of Chicago where Whaley has applied. Whaley was also among three students on ASA's honor roll during the second semester (see photo with Whaley and Principal Simpson).  
 Alumni News:  
Filmmaker Lobley Loves Changes at ASA


Brea Lobley (class of 2012) made her mark at ASA by filming "Home Sweet Home," a documentary on teen homelessness that won two national awards. Brea and her sister Mariah, who helped produce the documentary, were homeless for a while following the death of their parents.

The experience of working with a film class at ASA helped the formerly quiet Brea to find her voice and she's been using it ever since. After graduation, she headed to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to study filmmaking. When her scholarship didn't cover the entire expense, Brea dabbled in business and is now working in tech support for Apple. But she still loves filmmaking and plans to return to the art where she first found self-expression. She loves the changes she sees at ASA, "the space and the growth." Remembering her own time at ASA, she encourages students to "keep your heads up. This is an amazing school."
 Alumni News: 
Latrice Davis Shares Fond Memories of ASA


After 20 years in the nursing profession, Latrice Davis (class of 1992) is now manager of community engagement for Molina Healthcare.

Davis (maiden name Dunkinsel) graduated in the first class from the current location of ASA on Madison Street. After a recent visit to the expanded school, Davis was highly impressed with the progress the school has made.

"ASA was exactly what I needed," she says recalling her days as a student. Davis was a teen mom, her mother had been a teen mom. Her sister, who attended ASA at the same time, was also a teen mother. ASA at the time provided childcare and parenting classes for teen parents, which helped Davis enormously. She also took advantage of the dual enrollment option and attended classes at Malcolm X. She went to college in Nebraska for two years before her mother's illness brought her back home. Davis later became a nurse and has worked in that profession for more than 20 years. Her advice to current ASA students: "Have a dream and allow the school to help you with that dream."

ASA Launches Online Fundraiser 

For 38 year, ASA has opened its doors to youth on the west side of Chicago who do not fit into the traditional public school setting. We accept students just as they are; we bolster them with academic and social supports to raise the odds that they will graduate and join the thousands we've graduated over the years.

Like all Chicago public schools, ASA has suffered huge budget cuts. But we've tried hard not to cut programs, like Voices for Peace, that our students desperately need to stay on track and graduate. To continue our work, we need your help. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit our website at, or our Crowdrise campaign at, or or to make text donations, dial 50155, keyword Give2ASA.

Thanks so much for your support. 
Volume: 6   Issue: 1  
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  Gratitude and Best Wishes to Retiring Staff  

After 37 years of loyal service to ASA, Bettye Minter, enrollment coordinator, has retired. (See photo below.) Jesse Jones, disciplinarian and coach, also retired after 18 years. Earlier in the school year, Associate Principal Dr. Jessie Rucker retired after 28 years of service. We will truly miss them all and wish them the best in their retirement.






Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin met with ASA administration to discuss his initiative to provide jobs for youth.  



ASA Students Join

Jobs Protest

ASA students joined hundreds of other youth to support initiative to provide employment for Chicago's youth. A recent study by the University of Illinois at Chicago showed that nearly half of young black men are out of work and out of school.

Great Debaters Win Trophies at Malcolm X College Conference  
Devin Mosby and Christopher Hood won second-place trophies in the Great Debaters contest at Malcolm X Community College during a conference to encourage black and Hispanic males to attend college. 

Rapper Belo Speaks to ASA Students    

Rapper Belo (one of the original members of Do or Die) talked with ASA students participating in WestCare's Face Forward program, sponsored by the Department of Labor. Belo talked about his own experiences growing up in Chicago and offered words of encouragement.  
College and Careers Day  

Presenters at College & Career Day 2016 included Chamberlain College of Nursing, City Colleges of Chicago, Greyhound, Lincoln Tech, and the U.S. Army and Navy to help students explore options after graduation.  
Providers Day 2016  

Students listened to a variety of speakers providing social services, including representatives from Lawndale Christian Health Center, Planned Parenthood and Illinois Action for Children.  



 ASA Mission 

To accept students where they are academically, socially, and emotionally by educating, supporting, celebrating and empowering students to achieve a higher quality of life.


 ASA Vision  

To cultivate compassionate, self-sustaining, globally-minded, critical thinkers who can compete and succeed in the world economy.




 ASA Core Values






Academy of Scholastic Achievement
4651 W. Madison Street ~ Chicago, IL 60644

p: 773-921-1315 ~ f: 773-921-1121

A Youth Connection Charter School Campus

Academy of Scholastic Achievement | 4651 W. Madison Street | Chicago | IL | 60644