A Beacon of Light

Silhouetted against the towering skyscrapers and sandwiched between entrepreneurs whose businesses have contributed to the visibility of this operation, is a beacon of light that is visible to pedestrians who walk the streets in search of a better future. The edifice has captivated the eyes of many parents whose desire is to give their child a Christian education.

South Brooklyn Academy (SBA), formerly known as the Excelsior elementary school, serves a population of about 20,000 Adventists in the South Brooklyn area. It was started by a group of conscientious members in 1976 who, like the pilgrims, were building altars so that their children would find their way home. It was first established as an elementary school, but has since changed to a junior/senior high school.

It is now known as the school of business and technology, where students are trained to face life and its many challenges through the use of technological devices. Our students graduate with a Microsoft Office Certification, which puts them way ahead of their competitors.

Our students have excelled in academics which is reflected in their examination results. Some have passed as many as 10 subjects on the Regents Examinations. We also offer woodworking, clothing and textile, home economics, and photography. Students also have the opportunity to communicate through the use of foreign languages including French, Spanish, and Latin.

Over the past four years, students from SBA have developed a relationship with students from Denmark as they visited SBA as part of their trip to New York. Last year, SBA students had the opportunity to travel to Denmark and visit the students at their school.

Our faculty and staff are trained to empathize with troubled students. For emergency cases, we have a licensed nurse from the Department of Health who takes care of medical emergencies. For those who have spiritual emergencies, which happen occasionally, we have a qualified pastor who wings them off to the throne of grace to the One who intercedes on our behalf.

Our focus is not just about academic prowess. Our aim is to inspire our students to acquire wisdom that will enable them to establish a relationship with Christ, then we send them to serve humanity. Our preparation is not just for this world, but the world to come. We continue to strive daily to be a beacon of light to those who are in darkness.

Ivanhoe Douglas is the principal of South Brooklyn Academy in Brooklyn, New York.