In a few months Dwell is hoping to fulfill a long standing dream of opening an urban high school, dedicated to helping students succeed, academically, relationally, and spiritually, as they transition from middle to high school and beyond. Akili is scheduled to start its first school year in July (dependent on current COVID-19 restrictions being lifted). It now has a website for more information: akilichristianhs.org.
The name Akili is a Swahili word meaning “the mind, common sense, wisdom,” and the school’s mission is to teach students the valuable trait of wisdom through their experiences and education at Akili.
Ari Adkins is the principal of Akili, and has been working with Student Ministries Division Coordinator Joe Botti to create and establish this new school. Ari says the idea was born out of Dwell’s history of working with low-income families through Urban Concern and Harambee Christian School. Although most Harambee graduates earn their high school diploma, many struggle spiritually in their high school years, succumbing to the difficult atmosphere they encounter in public high school. They have been invested into so wisely and lovingly while at Harambee, yet the pull of the world system is strong. Ari says, “Our hope is that by establishing Akili Christian High School, we can provide students with a sound spiritual environment as well as learning environment, equipping them with the skills they need to succeed relationally and functionally after high school and into our college ministry.”
To this end Akili will promote the Christian worldview with an emphasis on the importance of character. Akili will offer Bible classes as well as encouraging students to engage with Dwell high school Bible studies. They will also be mentored by mature adults—Dwell Life Coaches who can help with important practical skills like personal finance, nutrition, securing a driver’s permit, job acquisition, and skill-building. Ari says they not only hope to equip students for the real world, but also to equip and motivate them to return to mentor others with the same needs, and to become effective leaders in their communities as well.