PHOTO CREDIT: World Magazine
Delta Streets Academy (DSA) in Greenwood, Miss., just won $15,000, which will go a long way in helping the innovative school in its compassionate work to educate worthy young men not privy otherwise to an excellent Christian education.
Delta Streets received the 2017 Hope Award for Effective Compassion awarded by World Magazine, a top national news and commentary magazine written, edited and produced by renowned Christian journalists..
Says World's editor in chief, Marvin Olasky, "I’ve visited DSA twice and been hugely impressed by the way this Christian school educates African-American young men intellectually and spiritually. It’s our 100th national or regional winner over the past 12 years, so Christian compassion is alive and well."
Delta Streets Academy was founded in August 2012 and operated with 7th and 8th grade classes with fourteen students, two full-time teachers and three part time teachers.
It's stated purpose? "Our ultimate goal here at DSA is to equip the young men that walk through our doors daily with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the skills needed to live a life that honors God."
Today it is accredited with the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, and it's growth is fast.
The kids call their head of school "T. Mac," short for Thomas McMillin Howard. He is also executive director.
Concerning the award, Howard said “The DSA family is very thankful for the recognition and support we have received during the last two months of voting for the Hope Awards. The $15,000 is going to be super-helpful and the publicity has been amazing. We want to thank WORLD for the opportunity and the readers for choosing our organization.”
Marilyn Tinnin, publisher of Mississippi Christian Living, profiled Delta Streets in a July 2017 article. She wrote about how T. Mac was inspired to found the school after hearing current mississippimatters.info board member Mo Leverett--now a Florida resident--speak.
Wrote Tinnin: "Mo Leverett, the founder of Desire Street Ministries in New Orleans, came to speak at T. Mac’s Reformed University Fellowship group during his freshman year at MSU. His stories of the poverty and the desperation of the people in the infamous urban housing project touched T. Mac in a profound way, and he asked Mo if he could do a summer internship there.
"The summer of 2005 opened T. Mac’s eyes to a world he had never experienced. Reading about squalor and dysfunction and lack of hope is one thing, but seeing it first hand, interacting with those who live it, is something altogether different. It broke his heart.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mississippi Christian Living
"After T. Mac graduated in 2008, he took a job at Greenwood High School teaching math and coaching baseball and football. He chose the Mississippi Delta because there weren’t a lot of established ministries trying to address the overwhelming problems that had morphed in the last few decades. He originally planned to teach and coach and use those as a way to build relationships and to share the gospel."
Adds Tinnin: "At the present time, there are nine full-time staff and four part-time faculty members. First Baptist Church offers space rent free, and that is a great blessing. Cannon Motors has given the school the old Delta Chevrolet building in downtown, but the renovation price tag of $1.3 million has made renovation a distant dream for the time being. T. Mac wears many hats, from driving the bus to teaching to running the payroll, but one of his most important jobs is fundraiser in chief. 'That’s the thing that keeps me up at night, but God has taught me a lot these past six years about his sufficiency.' ”