A North Carolina resident is responsible for the imminent establishment of a boarding school for economically disadvantaged Black teenagers. Frankie Roberts fights on behalf of formerly incarcerated people and underprivileged youth who lack access to consistent academic guidance at home.
Frankie Roberts is an advocate for impoverished teenagers who don’t have daily academic support. He will soon make his longtime dream of building a boarding school for at-risk Black teens a reality.
“Typically, rich people send their kids to boarding school when they don’t have time to raise them,” he told Port City Daily.
He added that many of the parents of the kids he teaches in day programs are either financially strapped or have too many jobs to devote much time to their children. Roberts established the nonprofit Leading Into New Communities (LINC), which helps formerly incarcerated people adjust to life outside prison.
Roberts said he was motivated to open the boarding school by his experiences in public and private school systems. The school is intended for children not receiving the support and encouragement to be the best they can be.
The boarding school will be housed in the former Wilmington Fire Department station at 3933 Princess Place, which was donated by the city last year. The council will review the rezoning and special use permits for Roberts in the upcoming months. He estimated that it would take under two years to open the boarding school after receiving approval.
Roberts hopes to begin the $2 million renovations as soon as he receives approval from the city. He estimates that $1,000,000 per year is needed to run the boarding school. There will be a headmaster and a total of twelve teachers and support staff members, including coaches and mentors, at the school.
The boarding school will serve 10 to 12 pupils and will “consist of five main components: education, career development and graduate resources, case management, instruction and technology training and leadership,” Roberts told the outlet.
He also noted that grants would cover the school’s operating costs, and enrollment in the 14-month program is free. Students are required to perform yard work for local residents, cultivating a strong work ethic and fostering a spirit of generosity,
“It’s part of recognizing and showing these young men if you don’t work, you don’t eat,” Roberts noted.
Weekend field trips will also allow students to learn about new places and cultures outside their immediate surroundings.
The L.I.T.E. program at LINC, the organization’s community resource officers, and the juvenile justice system all play a role in referring students to the boarding school.