DENVER (CBS4) – The Sims-Fayola International Academy For Boys teaches men the importance of going back and giving back through education.

“Six years ago I started to pen what is now Sims-Fayola on a piece of cardboard on my wall,” said school founder Dedrick Sims.

From cardboard to concrete, Sims gave birth to the Sims-Fayola International Academy for Boys charter school.

Sims-Fayola is an autonomous charter school chartered through Denver Public Schools with their own board of directors.

The school is a 501C which means Sims is always in fundraising mode.

He’s a proud educator. A former teacher and principal, Sims has been around education his entire life, but why an all boys school?

“It came from being in the education system for 15 years and seeing that every education initiative had some impact but there was still a subgroup of students who weren’t meeting their maximum potential. Mostly boys, and in particular, boys of color,” said Sims.

He’s very hands on, especially at this time of the year. But there’s a reason for that.

“Most of time our young men are given to, but when you are able to give to somebody and see the light come on in their eyes and the smile on their face, that’s different,” said Sims.

Everyone who attends the school must learn how to give back.

“One of the requirements for our men to be promoted to the next grade is they do 20 hours of civic community service,” said Sims, “it’s not cool to just grow up in your community and leave it. Leave it better than you found it. Go back and give back.”

The students, Fayola men understand that.

“Knowing that there are people who’ve been through what I’ve been through,” said student Tanner Williams.

“I believe that we should give back to our community for raising us. It takes a village to raise a baby,” said student Dylan Brook.

Every year the young men are challenged to give up one gift at Christmas.

“Last year we had 119 boys enrolled and 85 of them gave up gifts in order for someone else to have one,” said Sims.

Sims himself is being recognized for all his hard work.

“I get this letter about being nominated as a CNN hero. I’m thinking, ‘what, who did that,’” said Sims, “It’s an honor to be nominated because I’ve seen CNN heroes and people from around the world do amazing things and I just opened a school. It’s very humbling. Thank you to whoever did it.”

Donations to the school can be made on the school’s website.

LINK | Sims-Fayola International Academy Website

LINK | Donate To The School


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