Sean Ingram academy was established and designed to keep Wake County kids out of North Carolina prisons, all while teaching them how to succeed.
Sean Ingram is a 41-year-old man who works with kids who are at risk in Wake County Public School System. Ingram helps students stay successful and out of North Carolina prisons. Ingram and the Raleigh Police Department came into a partnership and that’s how Sean Ingram Academy was born.
Sean Ingram’s Journey In and Out of North Carolina Prisons
Sean Ingram was raised by his grandmother in poverty. As he got older, he sought ways of helping his grandmother because he felt he was the bread-winner. Unfortunately, he got into crime.
To survive, Ingram would do anything including selling drugs and stealing. That’s how he landed in prison. At 25, he was charged with armed robbery and went to Butner Federal Prison for 5 years.
While at prison, Ingram went through an HVAC class. Having successfully completed the program, upon release he got a job with Watson Refrigeration Company. At the company, he learned a lot and continued working hard. He was earning $7.25 to $20 every hour.
Sean’s Academy Dream: Keeping Kids Out of North Carolina Prisons
Sean Ingram had always dreamed of building an academy and that was his major focus in life. The public school system had the notion that Ingram possessed a gift with the underprivileged kids. This made him work with the lower 25% of the Wake County Public school system. Currently, he is working with all the twenty-eight high schools within the system.
The Role of the Police in Sean Ingram Academy
The partnership between the Raleigh police and Ingram has helped a lot of Wake County kids. He takes all the kids as they are referred by the Raleigh Police Department. If a kid fails to go to jail, he or she is taken to Ingram’s program. The police does the paperwork and once it’s done, the kids do not have that charge on their record.
About Sean Ingram Academy
Ingram has an aggression replacement training national certificate and a certification in mental health first aid. As a mentor, his duties include:
- Acting as a support system for the kids
- Gaining trust
- Building a relationship
- Coming up with the right strategy to ensure that Wake County kids succeed
Sean Ingram does not work alone. Lasharta Pearson serves as a clinical counselor as well as the approved social worker. Her duties include choosing the right mental health services and programming in case a need arises.
He also works with Omark who serves as the support specialist for the peers. His main duty is to stay in touch with every youth within the academy. He also ensures that every kid has transportation to services or appointments.
Sean Ingram Academy has been a success. A majority of kids who have passed through the program have gone to college and have jobs. Even though not all Wake County kids make it through, 85% of them have graduated from high school and are leading successful lives. To Sean, it has really been a blessing.