ST LOUIS, Mo. — City Academy celebrated its 25th anniversary Friday with a special celebration on its North Kingshighway campus.

City Academy first opened on September 1, 1999. The school was originally based out of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club before moving across the street to the current campus in 2004.

Don Danforth co-founded City Academy. 25 years later, the school president reflects on the people and principals that power this place.

“City Academy was really inspired by the ideals of Martin Matthews and the Matthews Dickey Boys Club. He challenged me to create opportunities for children that I’d want for my own kids. In my case, it was outstanding educational opportunities, but making them affordable to all families.” Said Danforth.

Martin Matthews died in November. He was 97. His legacy lives on at City Academy. The mission here is to transform children, families, and our community through exceptional education and bold expectations that empower children to overcome barriers. Who better to lead that mission, than Head of School Jarrett Young?

“I grew up on Clarence, right at Labadie and Ashland. I think about the experience I had having to go to MICDS to get a top tier education and leave my neighborhood and my surroundings. For kids to be able to have an opportunity to stay close to home but also get an experience that can transform their life is something we do here every day and it’s incredibly special.” Said Young.

City Academy was the first private, independent school in North St. Louis, and remains the only school in the region to provide scholarship support to 100-percent of current students.

“We create memories. We create experiences. But we really show that we hold and support students and their families.” Said Young.

“We wanted to create a school of excellence, not just for today or tomorrow, but for the future. And not just for our students, but for our students’ children and way beyond. 25 years is a great milestone, but it’s just the beginning.” Added Danforth.

Taught to care and have character, City Academy students represent the future of St. Louis. And the future is bright.