Vincent Gray Academy strives to provide the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma for Metro East St. Louis young men and women who are high-risk and economically or socially oppressed.
Vincent Gray Academy is a community of persons existing to provide alternative education leading to a high school diploma.
VGA offers an opportunity for students to acquire academic skills, vocational experiences and spiritual development in an academic but informal atmosphere guided by Christian principles. We are also committed to helping students obtain the social traits necessary for them to maintain self esteem. Our students will function effectively as individuals who are self reliant and they will use their skills to improve their society.
Every student who is admitted to VGA is accepted as a potential candidate for receiving a high school diploma. We believe that every student who is willing to apply herself or himself is capable of succeeding at VGA . We believe that a student’s previous history does not necessarily dictate how he or she will succeed at VGA . To promote this success VGA is committed to support services it deems necessary to help students to overcome obstacles to perseverance.
We also believe that every student who attends VGA will obtain skills to enrich their lives socially, educationally, and spiritually because of the accepting and caring nature of the VGA community.
VGA does not discriminate by gender, race, national origin, or creed.
- that every VGA student earn a high school diploma
- that each graduating student has a direction upon leaving VGA
- that each student of VGA be provided help in issues of self-identity and self-esteem
- that each student of VGA have access to significant, immediate help with day to day obstacles to attendance and perseverance
- that VGA students be assisted in obtaining necessary health care, both physical and mental
WORDS FROM VGA GRADUATE JOSHUA STARKS
Joshua Starks came to Vincent Gray Academy in the fall of 2011. From the beginning it was apparent to his teachers that he was an intelligent and dedicated student.
Vincent Gray Academy is a family tradition for me. My mother, Uveida Woolens (class of 1989); brother, Tydon Woolens (2008); and older sister, Keach-A Starks (2008), are proud graduates of Vincent Gray Academy.
My mother and siblings all had different experiences but they all loved it. When I went to VGA I was “doing my own thing.” I was not on the right path, but the longer I stayed there the more I changed. I actually grew up at Vincent Gray, because they did not hold my hand and tell me I had to do everything. They gave me responsibility and treated me like a man. I had to get 13 credits in that year. It was one of the best years of my life.
Vincent Gray also helped me understand the simple concept that if you want something you have to take it. You have to work hard and never give up on your dreams. I played football for East St. Louis High School while I was attending Vincent Gray. I was not a starter or anything special, but I worked hard and I never gave up. It all has paid off because after I graduated, I continued to work hard and went to Southwestern Illinois College.
I recently received a football scholarship to Missouri Baptist University. However it was not just because of my athletic skills, it was also because of my grades. I now have a 3.0 Southwestern Illinois College. It was all because of what VGA taught me. I will continue to strive for the best.