From Drop-In Center to High School
Seattle Urban Academy began in 1989 in response to the plight of street youth. Life on the streets would leave youth void of education and employment. A small, drop-in tutoring center was birthed in Seattle's Central District - a safe, loving place for street youth and adults to experience a welcoming environment and a sense of belonging.
Andrea Taylor, founder, described the persistent desire of the program's supporters to bring hope to each person who came through its doors:
"This is the last stop for many of these kids. We will do whatever we can to help them. Whatever we can to keep them alive."
In 1990, the center transitioned to formally educate low-income minority youth as Seattle Street School. In 1993, the small school sought an administrative partner and became a division of CRISTA Ministries, a para-church organization dedicated to education, world health and human services.
CRISTA heartily embraced the program and developed it into a diploma-awarding school. Students renamed the school Seattle Urban Academy (SUA). SUA gave CRISTA the opportunity to return to its founding mission from the early 1940's when God gave Alvin B. "Mike" Martin a vision for reaching out with the love of Christ to troubled teens.
In 1997 Seattle Urban Academy relocated to southeast Seattle, with a focus shifted to providing a formalized high school education for youth at risk, helping develop stability to graduate with high school diplomas.
Today SUA has become a thriving educational community of growth and maturity, graduating young people prepared for higher education with passion and purpose to strengthen our community through meaningful careers.