Program Snapshot

Offered in partnership with Boston Public Schools (BPS) sites, Tenacity’s Ace Academy is an intensive program for students in grades 6-8 that focuses on improving students’ academic, tennis, and fitness skills, while simultaneously nurturing social/emotional development and engaging families.

The Ace Academy program provides students with 300+ hours of enrichment per year, helping them grow academically and socially while improving their fitness.

"The Tenacity staff has built strong relationships with students and families and always works to support the students with their goals. These are lifelong lessons that will help all of our middle school students to become successful adults."

Katie Grassa Principal, Curley K-8 School

"I love the work that you do with the students. Thank you so much for all your support! Keep doing what you do that makes this such a wonderful program."

Tenacity Parent

"I think Tenacity has done a great job with my daughter and truly helped her transition into middle school. The encouragement she received from the team was great."

Tenacity Parent

"It has been an amazing three years and I hope every student gets the same opportunities that my son got."

Tenacity Parent

"You're doing a great job! My daughter really enjoys your program and I have noticed a positive effect from it."

Tenacity Parent

    Why grades 6-8 are a critical time

    An increasing body of research suggests that the make-or-break moment predicting high school graduation may actually occur in middle school. Adolescence is a pivotal period of brain development that marks the beginning of a person’s ability to problem solve, think critically, plan, and control impulses.

    Studies have pinpointed a series of indicators that can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school: attendance, behavior and course performance – which are described as the “ABCs.” When a student struggles in just one of these areas as early as sixth grade, there is a 75% chance that he or she will not graduate high school.

    What makes Tenacity’s program unique

    The whole-child approach of the Ace Academy program focuses not just on the academic and social-emotional aspects of youth development, but also stresses the importance of fitness and health by incorporating athletics and nutrition. Recent studies have shown that students involved in sports based youth development programs are more likely to stay in school, more likely to graduate, and more likely to attend college.

    Each component of the Ace program is designed to provide students with the support, skills, and perspectives they need to successfully complete middle school and transition smoothly to a “right-fit” high school. The program not only helps improve student engagement, behavior, effort, and course performance – 95% of our Ace students graduate from high school.

    Studies have pinpointed a series of indicators that can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school: attendance, behavior and course performance – which are described as the “ABCs.” When a student struggles in just one of these areas as early as sixth grade, there is a 75% chance that he or she will not graduate high school.

    Core Curriculum Areas

    English language Arts
    • 4:1 student to instructor ratio
    • Emphasis on: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Journaling, Habits & Homework
    Family Engagement
    • Two family visits per year
    • Empowering families with self-advocacy strategies
    Life Skills Formation
    • 6th Grade – Personal Identity
    • 7th Grade – Social Competencies
    • 8th Grade – Transition to High School
    Tennis & Fitness
    • 4 hours/week dosage
    • Competitive play/leagues
    • Health/wellness
    • Teamwork & good sportsmanship
    Field Trips, Learning Experiences & Events
    • 15 – 20 Field Trips per year throughout New England
    • Mid-year and End-of-Year ceremonies/retreats
    • Poetry slams and talent shows
    High School Selection
    • One-on-one tutorials
    • Parent workshops
    • High school application support
    • High school visits

    Ace Academy School Sites

    BCLA-McCormack 7-12 School

    Cynthia Henri

    Site Director & Academic Coordinator - ACE Academy

    Noah Poindexter

    Tennis Coordinator

    Joshua Coleman

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy

    Sonia Hercules

    Associate Coordinator- Ace Academy

    Curley K-8 School

    Eli Brooks

    Site Director and Tennis Coordinator

    Malcolm Flynn

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy

    Archie Mills

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy

    East Boston High School

    Max Handler

    Site Leader

    Jake Corbett

    Tennis Coordinator

    Diego Arteaga

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy

    Frederick Middle School

    Malcolm Neville

    Site Director and Tennis Coordinator

    Raven Kelsey

    Ace Academy Site Coordinator

    Sam Poindexter

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy

    Liz Salazar

    Associate Coordinator - Ace Academy