The Ginn Academy, founded in 2007 by Ted Ginn, Sr., is the only all-male public high school in Ohio. Come in and see what goes on inside the hearts and minds of 655 E. 162nd Street each day. Let us tell you our stories. Photos and text not to be used without permission.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Building Strong Foundations One Wall at a Time

Ginn Academy students in Mrs. Natalee Castor's class recently participated in leadership and social skills training, which culminated in the group designing, planning, and finally painting a giant mural on an otherwise empty wall. Led by Kelly Jackson and her organization, StandUP! For Change, the ten students, along with Mrs. Castor and Life Coach, Mr. Theon Dixon turned an unremarkable corridor into a colorful place of pride for everyone who enters the building.

StandUP! For Change is focused on improving the lives of marginalized youth through direct outreach and educational programming; always believing what they do in their lives today will create a better tomorrow for all.

Throughout the school year, our young men took part in the I Rise program -- leadership workshops and emotional training which eventually tied together the curriculum with the mural project. They developed design concepts during Think Tank sessions, cleaned and prepped the area, and learned new artistic techniques to complete the mural.

Based in Cleveland and founded by Ms. Jackson in 2010, StandUP! For Change is an outreach program serving chronically impoverished communities. "I was born and raised in East Cleveland myself, and I remember myself as that little girl with a little voice and access to little resources," she explains. "It lit a spark in me to do something."

As she found herself fascinated with what she was learning in her Human Resources classes at Baldwin Wallace University, Ms. Jackson wondered why these skills were not being taught to kids to give them a stronger foundation. "I Rise is to help the kids discover all of the things in them hidden away by all the labels society places on us," she says. "Our goal is to get them to do something great, and to help them to see that greatness is always there inside of them; they see that light go on."

Thank you to Ms. Kelly Jackson and StandUP! For Change, along with Mrs. Castor and Life Coach, Mr. Dixon for helping the following Ginn Academy students to illustrate the greatness inside of them and share it with everyone who walks the halls of our school. To see photos of the project in process, click here:

Benjamin Richardson
JaQuez Peeks
DeShaun Boone
Marquan Acoff
Landon Speed
Stephon Hawkins
Davion Davis
DeAntre Edwards
Darren Gregory
Davonte Lyons

Six of the ten mural painters with their teacher, Mrs. Castor

Kindest regards from everyone at Ginn Academy