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LeRay WarriorBy LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

University Academy is one of the best schools any child could wish to attend. Not only does the school provide some of the best statistics in the state, but, as a student, it prepares you better than any other public high school can for college admission.

As a K-12 public charter school, the aim of of this institution is simple, to shape and mold students into the leaders of our future by easing their path to higher education. There is no doubt in my mind that attending this high school is a huge reason behind the success I have enjoyed.

Here’s why I think UA is one of the best high schools in the country, and why parents should definitely be sending their kids there.

Impressive Track Record with College Admissions

Ever since the school’s inception in 2000, the school has been delivering outstanding results. For starters, there has been a 100% acceptance rate for seniors moving on to college after graduation. These students aren’t just getting accepted into any old university… With approximately 50% of UA graduates going on to gain admission into top 150 colleges nationwide.

For many, college isn’t possible without the help of some sort of scholarship, which was certainly the case for many students when graduating. UA has helped last year’s graduating class receive more than $7 million in scholarship offers, and that number has significantly risen this year.

They help students check the boxes for scholarships and support them through the application process.

If you want to give your child the best possible chance of achieving entry into a top school with a good chance of an academic scholarship, then UA is one of the best schools in the country, never mind the state, to fulfill this goal.

Recognized for Its Commitment to Its Students

What I love about my former high school is that they support all students equally, no matter their background.

In 2017, UA Upper School was awarded National Blue Ribbon status, demonstrating its commitment to excellence and student support. This achievement has taken years of hard work and dedication from everyone involved with the school. And it has finally paid off by becoming the first ever public charter school in Missouri state history to receive National Blue Ribbon recognition.

Unwavering support and commitment to students from all backgrounds is also demonstrated by the college degree completion rates of UA graduates. These stand at more than 5x the national average for students that come from the lowest quartile of family incomes. Not only has UA achieved national recognition, but it’s also received a 100% APR from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the last 3 years running!

I’m so proud to say I am an alumnus of this institution, because I graduated with many other students who would have been written off at other high schools… but not here. Everyone is treated with the respect and support they deserve while receiving one of the best educations around.

Investment in Extracurricular Education

I’m a big believer in education not stopping once you leave the classroom.

The programs that I’ve taken part in, such as entrepreneurial courses and investment courses, were invaluable in developing skills that were useful both in my professional and in my personal life. Although a confident child, I didn’t properly develop my social skills until I was thrust out of my comfort zone. These experiences, forced me to mature as a person and make me into the person I am today.

Other extracurricular experiences that many students have participated in include traveling abroad, away from their families, to experience different cultures. This helps them all become more well-rounded individuals.

Support Doesn’t Stop Upon Graduation (How UA Set Me Up for Life)

With many other high schools, once a student leaves, contact between them and their school drops off as staff focus their efforts back on their remaining students. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth at University Academy! Their alumni success program is second to none, offering students the chance to intern with awesome companies. The College Incentive Program (CIP) also makes money available for students to help to take care of expenses such as books, tuition, living expenses and equipment.

These programs were instrumental in helping me secure work with one of the biggest payroll and HR companies, Paychex. With the work ethic instilled in me from from my UA days, I managed to become one of their top sales reps before moving on to Capital One to become Vice President (Commercial Cards).

I’m now a Principal at MEDiAHEAD, and I still attribute my successful career to the education and experiences given to me by University Academy.

Why I Give Back

As you can see, UA has influenced many parts of my life. This school set me on a path that I may not have taken had I attended a different high school. Having given me such a platform, it is only right that I dedicate what time I can to give back to students and the wider community of UA.

Where I can, I help out with students and alumni. My goal is to make sure the support I received continues to be at the exceptional level it was when I attended. I also donate yearly to help fund projects and programs that advance students in their bid to gain college acceptance.

Final Thoughts

University Academy is one of the best high schools nationwide. I am so thankful for their commitment to outstanding education, for their dedication to helping every single student with their college applications and finally for their continued support after graduation. In my opinion, there really is no better place to send your child to be educated, not just as a number in a classroom, but as a person that will be ready to go out into the wider world when the time comes.

If you have an opportunity, please visit the school to take a tour. I am sure that you will be impressed!

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