Harvest Christian Academy Embraces Education and Community

New Castle's Harvest Christian Academy empowers future leaders through community outreach and several career pathway programs.

When Dr. Raymond D. Williams founded Harvest Christian Academy, the pastor had a clear mission in mind: to empower future leaders through personalized education, career development and community service. While his faith was a driving factor in starting the educational program, the mission runs deeper.

“We’re not just a Bible organization. We’re more than that,” Williams explains. “We’re a community organization, and our door is open to everyone.”

Accessibility is a large part of the mission at Harvest Christian Academy. In fact, about 50% of the student body receive significant tuition assistance and scholarships from the organization. Along with daycare and K-12 schooling, the academy offers evening adult education classes entirely free of charge for those trying to earn a GED.

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“One of the functions of our mission is informational,” says Williams. “To inform our community, our state, our nation and, ultimately, have an effect on the world.”

Information is only the beginning, though. Harvest also provides invaluable resources to the community. In addition to free adult education, Harvest is responsible for a housing initiative that helped several people become homeowners in the greater Wilmington area. Williams is planning on re-launching this initiative in the near future. A large part of the housing program is sharing information that may be difficult for some community members to access or understand.

“If you don’t know the rules, it’s very difficult to play the game,” he explains. “We try to be a resource to give our community the rules.”

Information empowers people to make the right choices, but Williams sustains that it’s also his job as an educator and a pastor to equip community members with the right tools.

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This is where educational initiatives like career pathways come into play. Students can cultivate career skills in high school in pathways like nursing, electronics, business and culinary.

“We follow the ProStart curriculum in partnership with the Delaware Restaurant Association,” explains educator Sharon Mapp. “We have three students on the culinary pathway right now.”

ProStart is a nationwide initiative designed to teach high school students the culinary and management skills needed for a career in the restaurant industry. Harvest Christian Academy is one of the few private schools teaching the ProStart curriculum and allowing students to gain the valuable knowledge and experience that comes with it.

“We were one of the first private schools that started sharing pathways instead of just pure academics and getting kids ready for college,” Williams adds. “We’re the only one in Delaware with a Junior ROTC program.”

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The academy also offers a nursing pathway with plans to partner with ChristianaCare. A graduate of the electronics class now holds a supervisor position at Tesla. Williams also partnered with the University of Delaware to offer a dual-credit business course. By equipping students with these practical skills, Williams hopes to cultivate future leaders in Delaware and beyond.

Learn more about what Harvest Christian Academy is doing online.

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