Changing the lives of students with hope and love

Life is heading upward for students at Visible Men Academy in Bradenton. 

"We do fun stuff when we learn," said student Jonathan Williams. 

"I think I am learning a lot because my classmates and my teachers, they up boost me," student Allen Clark offered.

The K-5 all-boys public charter school started six years ago, the brainchild of co- founders Lewis Parker and Neal Phillips. Students who come from challenging social and economic environments receive structure and a quality education. 

"We see, really, a humanitarian crisis on our on soil in America and that is the underperformance and underachievement of boys from this demographic," said Neal. 

The school's theme is the acronym S.H.I.N.E., which stands for selflessness, honesty, integrity, niceness, and excellence. 

"Once you have confidence and you can control those character elements, then that gives you confidence you can control academic performance as well," Lewis said. 

In four years, the school has gone from an F grade to an A. They believe the key to their school success is love for their students. 

"Without that, then any strategies, any curriculum, any teacher training, it’s just not going to be effective," Neal explained. 

"When they see you care, then they give you everything they have,” Lewis added.