By Kayla Tucker, NDG Special Contributor
Professional basketball player and local hometown sports icon, Quincy Acy, recently visited with students at Evolution Academy Charter School in Richardson. Acy stopped by the school to share his character education program, “Quincy Acy Pressing for Success”, presented by Educational Presenters Network (EPN), a speakers bureau and K-12 event management company that provides presenters for staff development, workshops and conferences for educational entities all over the world.
Acy spoke to a packed cafeteria filled with hundreds of students, many who are currently facing some of some the same challenges he faced as a youth. “Growing up, I faced a lot of struggles. It was just me, my mom and my sister,” said Acy as he shared the struggles of growing up in a single-parent household. “I was blessed to have an uncle who helped my mom make sure we had what we needed.” He went on to encourage the students to work hard and never give up on their goals and dreams in life. “I didn’t make the basketball team the first time I tried out in seventh grade,” said Acy, who’s played in the NBA for the past four seasons, most recently as a forward with the Dallas Mavericks. “In fact, when I did make it my freshman year, I made the B-team and was riding the end of the bench. But I didn’t let that discourage me. I worked hard, trained hard and by my senior year I was starting and received numerous scholarship offers to play college basketball.”
“I didn’t make the basketball team the first time I tried out in seventh grade,” said Acy, who’s played in the NBA for the past four seasons, most recently as a forward with the Dallas Mavericks. “In fact, when I did make it my freshman year, I made the B-team and was riding the end of the bench. But I didn’t let that discourage me. I worked hard, trained hard and by my senior year I was starting and received numerous scholarship offers to play college basketball.”
He went on to stress the importance of education and being a person of high character, “I know you all have the STARR test coming up and it may be tough, but I encourage you all to take school seriously and always do your best, even when you’re the only one who sees your efforts,” said Acy. “You’ll often be tested and faced with adversity, but character is what you do when no one is watching.”
Acy played basketball for four years at Baylor University, where he also received his bachelor’s degree in communications. A graduate of Mesquite Horn High School, Quincy Acy is a local sports hero who has played in the NBA since 2012. Acy believes it’s important to encourage students to stay in school and continue to work hard to achieve their goals in life.
“Playing for the Dallas Mavericks was a dream come true for me and I want kids to know that their dreams really can come true just like mine did, if they’re willing to work hard and don’t give up,” said Acy. “There were times I felt like throwing in the towel, but I knew that wouldn’t get me anywhere. So I hung in there; stayed the course, worked hard and never gave up on my dreams.”
Evolution Academy was just the right place for Acy to share his message of perseverance. Founded in 2002, by award-winning educator, Cynthia Trigg, Evolution Academy is a Texas public charter high school serving at-risk students grades 9-12, with campuses in Richardson (main campus), Houston and Beaumont. Some of the students at Evolution Academy have had challenges with the traditional school setting, but are taking advantage of the flexible scheduling, accelerated learning, job-readiness and technological advances offered by the school.
With its mission at the forefront, Evolution Academy has an academic offering that is unmatched by other public, charter or private schools. With a low student-teacher ratio of 18:1, the progressive charter school is able to offer one-on-one attention with a mix of traditional and computer-based instruction, which is what many students need to advance to the next level. Through the use of advanced educational technology, students are able to earn up to ½ credit hours every nine weeks, which allows them to catch up or graduate early.
The main campus in Richardson boasts more than 50,000 square feet and includes a science lab, fitness center and wellness program, piano lab, culinary arts program, full-service cafeteria and a state-of-the-art music studio where students can write and produce music. The school also offers multiple career and technical education courses that prepare students for certificates in professional fields such as medical billing and coding and video game design.
Evolution Academy has been educating Texas students for more than 14 years and has experienced a great deal of success, graduating more than 3000 students and expanding four times. The school also offers a flexible four-hour school day, where students attend Monday – Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. or 12:20 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. Evolution Academy graduates have gone on to graduate from some of the top colleges and universities in the country, enlist in military service and embark on productive careers in the workforce.
Evolution Academy has open enrollment year-round for high school students, grades 9-12, on all three campuses. Students can enroll online at www.evolutionacademy.org or visit one of the campuses to enroll in person.