Valiant Cross Academy
“Together We Rise Above” is the motto of this all-male, faith-based school that turns boys into educated and impactful members of their community.
Valiant Cross Academy sits in the heart of downtown Montgomery, Alabama and just across from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s church, an ever-present reminder that fuels the school’s dedication to ensuring success for this all Black-male school of faith and rigor. The founders Anthony and Fred Brock say they felt compelled to start this school for males to address some of the clear challenges that plague our city and our nation. They sought to combine an atmosphere of love, discipline, and a dedication to high expectations into the culture to ensure all scholars would pursue post-graduate options, and that’s precisely what they have done. Valiant Cross Academy had its first graduating class – 100% – in 2022 and many were the first in their family to receive a diploma.
The origin story of Valiant Cross comes from a deep desire to change the trajectory of black youth in Alabama, giving students the opportunity to thrive, not just survive.
“The work we do at Valiant Cross is not just teaching; it’s life or death and we believe there is no better learning environment for African American men in the country.”
Why they stand out
In a community that averages 70 murders a year with 90% of those deaths impacting African American males, Valiant Cross is a beacon of hope for their community. In addition to ensuring the fundamentals are taught, Valiant Cross continuously implements new and innovative approaches, designs, and educational models that can help them better serve students and offers an array of programs to give its students the education and skills needed not to just survive but to thrive in life.
How they STOP for education
Its sustainable model ensures young males have access to the state’s publicly funded scholarship program to pay for a private education normally reserved only for the elite.
Its transformational efforts to innovate and create locally unprecedented partnerships for careers, computing, e-gaming and robotics.
Its outstanding curriculum which doubles the math and triples the literacy-time, provides differentiated instruction, aggressive tutoring, daily after school programming and more.
Its permissionless approach to education creates a strong environment for the young men who they want to celebrate and not just tolerate.
Winning their award
Winning the Yass Prize allows Valiant Cross to expand opportunities to even more young men in Montgomery, add grades K-5 and replicate its program in other states that most need an approach like Valiant’s – Florida, Georgia and Mississippi, in particular.