Valiant Cross Academy, an all-male faith-based school in Montgomery, has been awarded the $1 Million 2023 Yass Prize.
“This is so amazing, I’m so excited,” executive director Anthony Brock said in his acceptance speech. “I want to give this opportunity to every boy of color in America. I’m going to go back and work even harder. Thank you Janine and Jeff Yass, Jeanne Allen and the Yass Prize team.”
Pennsylvania billionaires Jeff and Janine Yass established the award, also called the “Pulitzer for education innovation,” in 2021 to recognize innovative organizations filling education gaps.
In a community that averages 70 murders a year with 90 percent of those deaths impacting African American males, the Yass Foundation for Education said Valiant Cross is a beacon of hope for their community.
“Valiant Cross Academy represents the gold standard of education innovation in America,” Janine Yass said. “Our goal is to accelerate all our prize winners’ efforts to scale up and drive impact in the lives of the students they serve. America’s children desperately need innovative solutions to overcome the learning loss and falling test scores observed over the past several years.”
The prize will allow Valiant Cross to expand opportunities to even more young men in Montgomery, add grades K-5 and replicate its program in other states such as Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.
Hundreds of schools nationwide vie for the award each year.