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  • What is the motivation for opening PROUD Academy?
    Our founder, Patricia Nicolari, is a part of the LGBTQ+ community and was a teacher and principal. Experiencing harassment firsthand from students, coupled with a school atmosphere where it did not feel safe to “come out,” she was prompted to reflect on how this impacted her ability to be an effective teacher. The stress of being guarded diminished her full potential as an educator. Coming out changed that - it empowered her. To be authentic is life-changing. Years of watching LGBTQ+ youth struggle motivated Patty to open a school focused on creating the safest, most affirming learning environment for students – a space where youth can be their true selves 100% of the time.
  • When does PROUD Academy anticipate opening?
    We are working hard to open PROUD Academy and will do so when we can best meet the needs of our students. In our travels throughout the community, it has become clear that the need for Proud Academy is urgent, especially for transgender and non-binary youth. In response to this need, Proud Academy has put together a leadership team with expertise in opening schools, administration, inclusive curriculums, finance, and law. We are in a network with the four other LGBTQ+ schools in the country, and they are sharing their expertise and offering support. Proud Academy leadership shares the sense of urgency and is working to make this ambitious plan a reality.
  • Do you have a location in mind?
    After searching for the most ideal home for our school, PROUD Academy, The Boys & Girls Club of Ansonia, CT generously offered to rent their space to us. We continue to keep Ansonia and The Boys & Girls Club in mind as an option, while we continue to expand search to be sure we choose the best location for all.
  • What grades will be offered?
    PROUD Academy is planning to offer grades 7 and 8 in our first year. As we continue to assess the needs of the community, our goal is to role out a plan, which will allow us to expand to additional grades each year.
  • Will Proud Academy offer after-school clubs and activities?
    Yes! PROUD Academy students will have opportunities to engage in after school programs, whether that be clubs, sports, arts or other community partnerships that are developed. There is potential for PROUD to partner with organizations that enhance co-curricular programs and we are excited about cultivating potential opportunities.
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