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LEAD Academy Boasts 100% Class College Acceptance -- Sky Arnold

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Every LEAD Academy Senior is graduating and each one has been accepted to college.

It's a major accomplishment for a group of students who will be the first graduating class from a charter school in Nashville history.

Amusingly Senior Jermaine Sawyers wasn't a fan of the school initially when he was a part of the Academy's initial 6th grade class.

"We came on Saturdays and worked even more.  I didn't like that at all," said Sawyers.

LEAD Academy opened in 2007 with the lofty goal of sending everyone to college.

"Any student who has the support can make it to college even first generation students if they're in a loving caring environment they can make that happen."

LEAD made it happen in several ways.

Students are in class for longer days and sometimes come in on Saturday.

All along the hallways there are university banners and it's believed the current senior class has visited two dozen colleges.

Senior Precious Thomas says another big difference is the attention teachers pay to the goal of college.

"They wanted to know why you were here and how they could take you to where you are, to the college ideal," said Thomas.

Sawyers says for him everything clicked his freshman year.

Like the vast majority of seniors no one from Sawyers' family had ever gone to college.

He felt LEAD was the way to change that.

Next fall he'll be studying fine art at Western Kentucky University.

"I realized that if I wanna go to college I might as well stay here and not transfer," said Sawyers.

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