Skip to content
SA Together Again: We’re back in classrooms and taking learning to new levels!

Mission Possible

Stories and insights on excellent education.

Family Spotlight: Two Scholars, Two Jobs, & One Incredible Dad

Shea Blake is one of our most involved parents. Everybody at school knows him. He comes into the office every morning to talk to us. He takes the time to get to know the staff and the safety agents, and to make friends with other parents, even though he works two jobs and is raising two daughters on his own. We have a lot of respect for Mr. Blake, and I wanted to find out how he does it, why he chose Success, and what advice he has for other families.

Tell me about your two daughters — London and Synnai. London is in kindergarten. She just turned 6. She says she wants to be a doctor, but I think she might end up being a lawyer. She can be very argumentative. Synnai is in the first grade. She also talks about being a doctor. She wants to help people and sick kids. When she was younger, she was around doctors a lot. I think that’s why.

You’re a single parent. How do you manage to make time to be involved at school? Because I am a single parent, I have to be organized and plan ahead. It’s tough. I work night shifts for the Department of Sanitation, but I still bring my daughters to school every morning on time. When I wake up, I just do it, I don’t even think about it. I had good parents, and they taught me well. Then I go to my second job. I work at Home Depot during the day.  

I know last December, you made arrangements to come to our Winter Performance show to see your daughters perform. Yes. It was a big deal. Everyone had been working very hard.  The night before the show, I picked them up from school and drove them to the mall and bought them new dresses.  The next day, I got out of work at 2:40pm. The performance started at 3pm. I was racing from Manhattan and tried my hardest to make it on time. When I arrived, the show was just ending and people were leaving. I’m not going to lie, I was upset.

What made you choose Success Academy Springfield Gardens? I was taking the girls to school in Brooklyn for three years, and the commute was killing me. We live in Queens. Something had to change. I wanted them to go to a good school closer to home. One day, God answered my prayers: A Success Academy recruiter visited my daughter’s daycare. I asked if they had a location in Queens. He said yes, and I applied.

What was your reaction when you learned that your daughters were accepted? I was extremely excited and happy. It was a sigh of relief — my children were coming out of a chaotic environment. I knew Success Academy would be a better place for them.

How are your daughters doing in school now? When it comes to reading, writing, and spelling, their enthusiasm for learning has honestly increased. Synnai is more confident in her reading abilities. Her confidence alone has soared. And that confidence will help her achieve whatever she wants to do in life. The best part of this whole experience has been watching their progress every day.

What would you say to other families who are thinking about applying to Success? Keep an open mind. You and your child will go through some bumps and bruises together. But that’s a good thing. At Success, you’re part of a community that will support your child through college. Be patient and don’t give up on the school just because you hear something that’s not music to your ears. Stay active and enjoy the ride.



Written by Samson Woo March 21, 2016


Related posts

Protecting the planet, one world-class school at a time

November 12, 2021 Success Academy

Over the past two weeks, all eyes were on world leaders as they convened in Glasgow for the 2021 Climate Change Conference; the health of our planet has never been more critical. At Success Academy, our standard for excellence includes an investment in sustainability and an environmentally responsible approach to our operations and physical spaces.   ... Read more

Thank you to the veterans in our community!

November 10, 2021 Success Academy

The call to military service is not answered lightly, and those who sign up to serve our nation are often some of the most mission-driven people among us. It should come as no surprise, then, that so many veterans continue to serve their communities in some form after their military careers.  We’re lucky to have... Read more

“Happy Children Learn Better” – An SA parent reflects on the return to campus

October 7, 2021 Success Academy

Success Academy reopened its doors to scholars across the city in August, safely ushering students back into the classroom after an unprecedented 2020-21 school year. To keep our scholars safe — and learning — it’s more important than ever that we work together with families and guardians to ensure everyone in our community is on... Read more

Enroll your child

We’re now accepting K-4 applications for the 2022-2023 school year.

Work with us

Build your career while making an impact at Success Academy.