Parents Discover A Growing, Thriving Village at ITAV and VLA
A Community That Grows With You
Dawn admits her hopes were high when her children started at VLA, and as a community, they have delivered.
“While I’m not surprised, I am pleased that VLA/ITAV has exceeded my expectations. The ITAV team’s growth shows that the leadership principles taught to the students are being applied and demonstrated,” Dawn said.
What stood out to the Keys the most was how ITAV and VLA didn’t just educate their two children; they cultivated education in the entire family.
“They pulled out a side of me I didn’t know existed. I became more involved, and more invested in not just my children’s education but in the community we had become a part of. We became parent ambassadors, a role that allows us to support other parents and contribute to the community that has given us so much,” said Essence.
Memorable moments abound at ITAV
Parents love to tell ITAV moment stories, Dawn recalled an instance when her son, who wants to be an entrepreneur questioned their special guest.
A corporate representative from a major fast-food chain visited her son’s classroom when he was in 2nd grade for Career Day. “In response to one of the speaker’s question, my son raised his hand and asked, ‘Why does [your restaurants] sell food loaded with preservatives that kill our community?’ Astonished, she asked if she could hire him for their marketing team,” Dawn said.
For Essence, a memorable moment was seeing her son on stage in VLA’s spring production. “I’m a theater person,” said an excited Essence, “so when I saw my son performing as a munchkin in The Wiz, I felt like I was at a buffet. I already had everything I needed on my plate, but then it’s like, they have that too?”
A Message to Parents Considering ITAV/ VLA
To any parent on the fence about ITAV or VLA, Stephen Keys says, “If you want your child to be in a place where they are not just taught but are understood, valued, and nurtured; if you want them to learn about their heritage, and who they are and where they can go, then ITAV and VLA are the places for your child.”
Dawn would like to extend a warm welcome to any parent or student considering the Village. “As a parent or guardian, you are in the right place if you’re open to Black excellence, transformation, and a growth mindset. Various facets of your child’s transformation from mediocrity to excellence will be evident at ITAV.”