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The B.E.S.T Academy pushing students forward along with The 100 Black Men of Atlanta

The STEM-certified all-boys school is helping students move forward with mentorship.

ATLANTA — One Atlanta school is helping young men strive in the world of education. The B.E.S.T Academy, which stands for Best, Engineering, Science, and Technology is the only STEM-certified all-boys school in the nation.

Its inception in Atlanta started 10 years ago with The 100 Black Men of Atlanta organization wanting to provide a connection to prominent HBCUs. 

"The 100 Black Men felt that there was a really strong connection with Spelman and Morehouse and that there could be a school in Atlanta Public Schools that could be a direct food feeder and use the same model as them," said B.E.S.T Academy Principal Dr. Timothy Jones. 

RELATED: The 100 Black Men of Atlanta empowering youth for over 30 years

Dr. Jones, who has been at B.E.S.T for nine years, believes that the partnership between his school and 100BMOA helps higher education seem possible to students. 

Credit: provided
B.E.S.T Academy Principal Dr. Timothy Jones

"They may not even have an active interest in college initially but because it's a college and career-motivating, inspiring program that says, 'You can do this, and we'll help you.' That becomes a reality for them," he said. 

There are currently 300 students enrolled in the school and the impact of having 100BMOA is seen in the students. 

Credit: provided

"We see improvement in attendance, we see an improvement in GPA, we see this level of grit starts to get more and more pervasive. There's this student agency," said Dr. Jones. 

One of the things that makes B.E.S.T so unique is its commitment to single-gender studies. Its sister school, The Coretta Scott King Young Women's Leadership Academy, is right next to the school. 

B.E.S.T also offers its students opportunities to try things that most schools don't have. They offer fencing, dramatic writing classes, and even a bike club. 

To Dr. Jones, the most important thing is to make their students feel seen. 

"It's the first time that many students have heard someone inside of the school setting saying 'I believe in you, I care about you, you're important,' and that's made all the difference. That's why the organization and its strong belief are pushing kids beyond their limits and that's critically important for us," he said. 

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