The University of Memphis received a $100,000 grant from NewSchools Venture Funds to jumpstart the planning for University High School.

NewSchools is a nationwide nonprofit organization that searches for schools willing to initiate an environment for students, in underfunded areas, that allows their creativity to flow while preparing them for the future. 

Since they operate as a nonprofit, NewSchools operates through donations to reinvest in the future of students. Their hope is to re-imagine a reality for public schools that gives students permission to be unique, smart, and different. 

NewSchools has invested over $345 million into innovative schools who are committed to redefining the public-school system. 

University High School will provide students with a place to create, imagine, learn and implement their own passions into the culture of the UofM. 

“We envision a high school that will teach our students to translate their passions to talents and ideas that can have a lasting impact on our campus and our community,” said Sally Parish, associate vice president for Educational Initiatives. 

From daycare to grad school, with University High School as the latest addition to the University of Memphis’ campus, the school has chosen to bridge the gap between middle school and collegiate level. This will allow students to have an uninterrupted learning experience. 

The high school will operate as a hybrid learning center, where students are dual enrolled, to ensure that their successes exist beyond their high school graduation. 

As Memphis continues to support and grow a diverse culture, this opportunity is a ground-breaking experience that will inspire hope in the Orange Mound community. 

Orange Mound was the first community in the United States established exclusively for and by the African American people. 

Believe Memphis. Believe in its students. 

University of Memphis’ expansion will encourage students from all backgrounds to believe in themselves and the possibility of a higher education. 

By launching University High School in Orange Mound, they are taking the initiative to show inclusivity. Education is not limited to one community; with better resources students can excel beyond the walls of high school. 

Orange Mound is currently a low-income community, with predominantly African American students, who have not been gifted access to proper learning tools. 

Students in the Orange Mound community have lower performance levels, according to SCSK12. 

Due to prevalent inequality within the public-school system, all children are not gifted with the same access to basic necessities that each student needs in order to excel. 

University High School will supply students with tools, opportunities, and the proper equipment to obtain success within the public-school system that has unequivocally turned their back on this community. 

This high school will allot students equal opportunities as their counterparts. In addition to bridging the interior gap, it will also bridge the exterior gap from underfunded schooling to financially stable schooling. 

“Re-imagine public schools,” by removing the stamina of public schools and encouraging students to learn and grow in their own environment; they will be able to grow without boundaries. 

University’s students will have a better transition from high school to college. 

The University High School will encourage students to continue to pursue their higher education, possibly increasing the enrollment rate at University of Memphis. 

“Students at our University High School may be the creators of the latest app, health care solution, culinary creation or nonprofit organization,” said Parish. 

Through the shared partnership between University of Memphis and NewSchools, they are opening doors to students in neighborhoods that deserve proper and fair education that will prepare them to excel in the future. 

University of Memphis holds a vision for the future of Memphis. The future of Memphis starts with its students.

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