Hill Hill Carter Nonprofit Spotlight:
Hill Hill Carter is a proud supporter of Valiant Cross Academy, an all-male private school located in the heart of downtown Montgomery. The school for young men was organized to help address some of the clear challenges facing our city and our nation, and built on the premise that with love, discipline and a dedication to high expectations, all young scholars can achieve. Students at Valiant Cross, who are referred to as scholars, are given post-graduation options and placed on sound academic and vocational tracks. The Academy’s vision is to increase literacy rates, attendance rates and ultimately the graduation rate. Their long-term goal is to teach each one of the scholars the skills necessary to become lifelong learners and productive citizens.
Valiant Cross Academy and Troy University recently teamed up to shrink a typical country garden into a tight urban space above the parking garage at Troy’s Montgomery campus where scholars planted and harvested vegetables including radishes, lettuce, peppers, broccoli and spinach.
Dr. Sharon Everhardt, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Troy and the wife of Hill Hill Carter shareholder Brad A. Everhardt, is also the lead in bringing urban gardens to local students. She reached out to Valiant Cross’ headmaster Anthony Brock with the idea.
“We hope that through this project, students begin to consume more fruits and vegetables on their own and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Everhardt said. “We also wanted to allow them to bring the harvest home with them.”
It’s the first such urban garden launched by Troy through a United States Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop grant received by the University’s Office of Civic Engagement. Scholars from Valiant Cross Academy were a part of the project from start to finish, from selecting what crops would be grown to planting, watering and harvesting.
The project was such a success, so Dr. Everhardt secured a renewal of the grant for this year in hopes that one day the scholars can fund the project on their own. Plans are also underway for a farm stand where the scholars can sell a portion of their produce while learning business, economics and entrepreneurship along the way.
To learn more about Valiant Cross Academy’s urban garden, click here.
Growth and Expansion:
Valiant Cross Academy also recently announced that it would be establishing a high school on Troy University’s Montgomery campus.
The Academy began with an inaugural class of 30 sixth-graders. Three years later, a lease agreement between the two downtown Montgomery academic institutions means that Valiant Cross’ inaugural class will be able to start high school in the fall and already be on a college campus when it graduates four years later.
“Every year, the plan has been to increase and it was mainly finding what location we needed to be in,” said Anthony Brock, head of Valiant Cross. “Troy has very generously offered some space we’ll be sharing with them and it gives the boys an opportunity to be on a college campus. You can’t beat that exposure. We wanted them to graduate with us. That was the plan. We wanted to see them to and through college.”
The boys and bow ties-only private school was the brainchild of Brock and his brother Fred Brock, now director of operations at the school. That initial class of 30 was recruited personally by the brothers who walked west Montgomery neighborhood Gibbs Village looking for a chance.
“Our College of Education can be greatly supported by Valiant Cross, and in turn, student teachers can benefit. It’ll add a lot of life to a campus that sees most of its activities in the afternoon and evening,” said Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins. “I’m saving you a place at Troy University.”
The placement of the high school on campus also means Valiant Cross scholars will have access to unique Troy University offerings such as the Confucius Institute or Mandarin classes.
For more information, on Valiant Cross Academy’s recent expansion, please click here.
If you would like to learn more about Valiant Cross Academy or to make a donation, please click here.