By Tess Malijenovsky
Last Thursday, Beaufort Academy, the independent college preparatory school (pre-K through 12th grade), hosted a community luncheon to send the message that “Beaufort Academy is not just a school for the privileged” and also to facilitate this conversation among leaders of Beaufort’s youth service organizations.
Members of The Boys & Girls Club of the Lowcountry, The Junior Service League, YMCA, United Way, Historic Beaufort Foundation and Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina joined along with Beaufort Academy staff members MJ Simmons and Bethany Byrne, Head of School Julie Corner, and two B.A. students, Michael Bible and Xavier Lemont.
The school sends 100 percent of its students to college and accredits their small staff of dedicated teachers that make personal relationships with each student. The close-knit environment of the school pushes and drives students to excel, says Julie Corner. Beaufort Academy will also have a full time staff dedicated to college advising as well as weekend SAT prep courses for B.A. and non-B.A. students.
Now Beaufort Academy is reaching out to the community to invite first generation college-bound students to their classrooms. The luncheon sparked interesting points from different community members around the table. Karen Golden of The Boys & Girls Club was to quick to ask about Beaufort Academy’s public transportation system. Also, with tuition rates averaging $9,445 a year, some inquired how students of low economic backgrounds could afford to attend.
Money shouldn’t deter anyone, Beaufort Academy answered. The attending staff members of B.A. insisted that there are means of accommodating interested students whether it’s carpooling or financial aid. As Julie Corner pointed out, a guardian’s investment before college is as important as the college investment.
The spring luncheons are just one of the ways Beaufort Academy is reaching out to the community to dispel the perception that it’s only a school for the privileged. They warmly welcome suggestions and open conversation about their school and enrollment.
Contact Bethany Byrne if you or your organization is interested in more information or would like to attend a luncheon (843-524-3393, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the school website at www.beaufortacademy.org).
By Tess Malijenovsky