Lift For Life Academy

September UPDATES

What is JAG?

JAG stands for Jobs for America's Graduates and it's a new program at LFLA. Our JAG Specialist is Tim Basler and he's teaching more than 40 juniors and seniors about career options after high school graduation. Students take field trips to Ranken Tech to learn about different trades; meetings with Building Union Diversity (BUD), a program that connects people to construction jobs; the YMCA to learn more about jobs in the nonprofit sector including free swimming lessons to immediately become lifeguards; a team-building trip to the zoo, and much more.

Tim will also be working with students to help them develop strong resumes and the skills needed to pursue employment. In the video below, he gives you an overview of JAG and what it will do for our students.

The JAG Program

A Note from Dr. Noble


As we get more in-depth with the 2022-2023 school year, we are determined more than ever to bring education to life (outside of the four walls) for all of our students. I strongly believe that it’s our responsibility to assist students in merging their Passion and Purpose. I also believe that when students learn to connect passion with their purpose, their life will be more meaningful, rewarding, impactful, and fulfilling.

My desire is that when students matriculate through Lift For Life Academy, they can easily answer the following questions and know their passions which lead to purpose:

  • What things do I do that give me joy?
  • Which subjects interest me to learn and learn more?
  • What job/work can I volunteer to do for a long time without financial reward?
  • What would I use my time for if I could do what I like and still get paid?
  • What makes me feel “in the zone”? What do I do very skillfully, easily, and delightfully?

So how are we truly doing this at LIFT FOR LIFE ACADEMY?

At the Elementary School Level:

We EXPOSE kids and give them EXPERIENCES. This is through hands-on learning, field trips, and curricular choices that open their minds. If kids don't know what's out there, they will dream too small. Oftentimes our students, even our older students, when they're asked what they want to do in life, you hear the same responses that have been heard for years from all kids. We want to show our students a myriad of problems that need to be solved, people that need help, places that can be explored, careers that can be pursued, etc. so they can see where their passion lies. 

Elementary students visiting with a pony. 

At the Middle School Level:

Middle school is a transformational time for our students and we work to support the whole child. Students are starting to form their identities and solidify their own passion and purpose. It is our job to expose them to as many experiences as possible. We emphasize voice and choice, to encourage students to personally invest in their interests. Formulating a strong sense of self is key during this time, and we support this through our socioemotional curriculum. The culture of the middle school is infused with black excellence and school-wide activities to activate their spirits. We intentionally expose our students to all walks of life, career options and field trips to tap into what gets them excited to unlock their passion. Through this exposure, we strive to give students a head start on determining their passion and purpose in life. (Principal Leathers)


At the High School Level:

The SOAR Program and our pathways are helping students to explore and discover their careers and passion. Frequently, students do not know what their passion is so it is our job to help them discover and explore it. Through our classes that are inquiry-based, I believe we provide opportunities for students to explore themselves and their communities through PBL (project-based learning). This process helps to mold and define a student's purpose.  


With our SOAR Pathways, students can partner with community organizations weekly to explore the fields of Medicine, Technology/Coding, Construction, Entrepreneurship, Education/Law and Arts/Fashion. Along with the Pathways, the college and career counselors host monthly career fairs for all students. (Principal Edwards)

Inclusion for Special Education

Students with learning disabilities need a platform to express their needs. Their voice is vital in helping them feel safe and confident. And, their voice empowers them to learn.

At LFLA, our goal is to give students "voice and choice." We individualize their educational plans to address their unique needs. Per Kristen Dancy, Director of Special Education, "Our team thinks out-of-the-box to create the best possible learning opportunities for each student.

            Kristen Dancy, Director of Special Education.

The area of special education covers both students who have learning disabilities and those who are gifted. It's a wide range. For example, one of our 5th graders, who is exceptionally bright, has a strong interest in computers. In response to his interest and potential, we allowed him to enroll in our high school coding course."

Our special needs scholars are fully integrated into the classrooms and receive support from educational specialists daily. Last year in middle school, more than 50% of our special needs students showed significant improvement on the MAP test. We celebrate their success and continue to individualize their educational treatment plans to best meet their needs.

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Our Distinguished Boards

Our two Boards are composed of talented, strategic thought leaders who dedicate their time and skills to enhancing the vision and quality of our educational institution. We are grateful for their service. They're working to make us the best that we can possibly be!

Board of Directors

Scott Dolan, President
Tami Fernandez, Vice President
Sheila Gurley, Secretary
Brian Liberman, Treasurer
Ernest Banks
Kate Hatfield
Beau Herndon
Mary Jo Liberstein, Ph.D.
Mark Schweiss, CFP, CPA, CFA
Debbie Champion-Snyder
Steven Stone
Gina Wischmeyer
Javon McFadden, student representative

Foundation Board

Tami Fernandez, President
Todd Taylor, Vice President
Scott Dolan, Secretary
Erich Thurmann, Treasurer
Marshall Cohen
Marylen Mann
Dr. Katrice Noble
Carol Staenberg
Lift For Life Academy| 1731 South Broadway St. Louis, MO 63104
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