The inaugural graduating class of Loyola Academy at Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix was honored May 11 at a signing ceremony at which graduates announced their post-graduation plans.
In spring 2011, Brophy College Preparatory announced plans for an on-campus middle school that would provide underserved boys who demonstrated academic potential the education necessary to succeed in a college preparatory environment. Loyola Academy opened its doors in August 2011 and that first group of sixth-grade boys graduated May 19.
One of the graduates has enlisted in the U.S. Navy; the remainder will become first-generation college students at colleges around the country. Colleges include Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola Chicago, College of the Holy Cross, University of San Diego, St. Mary’s College, and Emerson College.
Robert Baransaka ’18, who will attend Loyola Marymount University, explained why the young men of Loyola Academy are called “scholars,” rather than students. “Because (Loyola Academy director) Ms. (Kendra) Krause told us when we started that students have to go to school, but scholars want to go to school.” In addition to announcing their future plans, the graduates offered advice to the current Loyola Academy scholars and thanked those whose donations made Loyola Academy possible.
Brophy president, Adria Renke, commented, “These young men have dedicated themselves to being successful students and, in the Jesuit tradition, men for others. We are so proud of how they have persevered and committed themselves to education and service, and grateful to everyone who has supported them. I have no doubt they will be catalysts for much good in the world.”
Loyola Academy was established in 2011 under the direction of Fr. Edward Reese, SJ, Brophy’s former president, and Renke, who was then serving as vice president. Students qualify to attend Loyola Academy based on recommendations, academic potential, and verified financial need. The program includes a 10-hour school day with transportation and meals provided (students receive homework support after the school day finishes), and mandates parental involvement. Students attend school 11 months of the year.