The solution to generational poverty requires a significant investment of time, resources and deliberate re-education. Jubilee Academy is a faith based organization, working to turn the hearts and lives of inner-city children, youth and families towards Christ and academic excellence. Jubilee’s curriculum is based on the Montessori Method, which has proved successful for children of all ages, all walks of life, in all parts of the world.
Jubilee Academy was born through Heartworks Ministry and grew out of one woman’s desire to positively impact the lives of minority children in our community. After years of struggling to make a difference as an inner-city school teacher, Sandee Hensley had a breakthrough with one student, Todd McClinton. By cultivating a close relationship with Todd and his family, she discovered that the challenges of academic success are directly linked to family involvement, expectations and support.
In 1998, using her personal income, Sandee opened Heartworks Ministry, Inc. in a small home in one of Columbia’s poorest neighborhoods. This home served as a refuge for neighborhood children both after school and during the summer months.
Eventually, Sandee realized that after school programs were not enough to compensate for what these children lacked in their home lives. The solution was to form a year-round, full time, Christian, independent school that would work with children, their families, and the community to reshape the lives of youth in poverty-stricken areas of Columbia.
Jubilee Academy (named for the Year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25) completed its first academic year in 2007. We have served more than 20 families from areas in Columbia zoned for schools found on “The Worst 25 Schools in the Nation.” In 2009, Jubilee was awarded accreditation by the South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA). Academic coursework is supplemented with arts education, physical training, life skills coaching, and religious instruction to develop the whole child. Our goal is to provide a supportive and nurturing educational environment that extends beyond the classroom, including intentional parent and family programming.