Visible Men Academy
921 63rd Avenue East
Bradenton FL 34203
Mission

Visible Men Academy (VMA) is an all-boys tuition free K-5 public charter school in Bradenton, Florida. 

 

The mission of Visible Men Academy is to provide boys with outstanding academic, character, and social education in a nurturing school environment.
 
The purpose is to deliver a high-quality educational experience that meets the specific needs of at-risk elementary and middle school aged boys through the collaborative efforts of administrators, teachers, parents, the broader community, and the students themselves.

 

The VMA vision is to lead boys toward a realization of their innate strong character – boys who are family orientated, community conscious, and globally aware. Through a firm foundation of intellectual and academic diligence, VMA students will be equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of challenging high school environments and will be eager and determined to pursue college.
 
VMA is entering into it's fifth year of operations in 2017-2018. In the 2017-2018 school year,  VMA will serve approximately 120 boys Kindergarten to fifth grade. VMA is a Title 1 school with 99% of the students qualify for Free and Reduced meal program living at or below the poverty line. VMA uses a strengths based Two Generation (2Gen( Whole Child and Family community school model to serve our students and families. This innovative  2Gen model ensures that both children and families receive support in addressing their social, emotional and resource needs and gain access to opportunities to support their future goals.
 
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Neil P. Phillips
Board Chair Mr. William Johnston
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
DBA
0
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2012
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Mar 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $2,062,521.00
Projected Expenses $1,992,214.00
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
90% of all children from low-income communities who graduate from college never return to poverty.  By expanding school-aged boys vision of possible personal, family, professional, and civic options, the VMA curriculum helps to invest them in their futures.  As this attachment strengthens, it increases the likelihood that young boys will make healthy decisions and display good judgement on a day-to-day basis.  This is the cornerstone of the Visible Men Academy philosophy and approach. 
 
Top accomplishments to date:
 
  1. Academic Gains- Consistent with national data for low income Black and Hispanic male students, on average, 90% of VMA students enter our school at least 1.5 years behind grade level. VMA has an extended day/extended year intensive remediation academic model to ensure students are successful at obtaining grade level proficiency in reading, math and science. 
  2. Diversity: 96% of VMA students are Black, Hispanic or Biracial, 4% white. Visible Men Academy has over 70% of it's staff identify as Black, Hispanic or Multiracial. This diversity of staff is unparalleled in Title 1 Education in SW Florida and is aligned with research that demonstrates the benefit of Black and Hispanic teachers educating Black and Hispanic Students
  3. Robust 2-GEN Parent Success Program: parent accomplishments include the following: 68% of VMA Parents are active participants in the Parent Success Program in 2016-2017. Parent outcomes include: 18 parents completed ESL classes, 42 parents completing wellness & relationship strengthening program, 4 Parents in GED prep program and 10 fathers completing the Fatherhood Initiative program. Robust 2-GEN student outcomes (students who's parents attended the 2-GEN Program) include 95% attendance, 70% reduction in behavioral issues and increase in honor roll eligibility.
  4. Community School, Community Partnerships VMA is proud to actualize it's mission through  collaborative partnerships with over 30 non profit and advocacy agencies. Among the many community partners are: Women's Resource Center, Unidos Now, Forty Carrots Family Center, Centerstone Behavioral Health, Meals on Wheels Plus of Manatee, Jewish Children & Family Services, Realize Bradenton, The Out of Door Academy, Healthy Pantry, USF School of Social Work, Ringling College of Art & Design, New College, WestCoast Black Theatre Troupe, Van Wezel Education Foundation, Asolo Rep Theatre and more!

  5. Future School Home: Purchased the adjacent 4.2 acres to build the "Forever Home of Visible Men Academy"  in next 3 years.
 
VMA organization goals are to:
  1. Have the majority (85%) of VMA students performing at or above grade level in reading and math within the next 2 years.

  2. To enhance our talent pipeline of passionate, engaging, cross culturally proficient teachers, administrators and staff working with at risk boys.
  3. To continue to nurture and create positive partnerships with youth advocacy, social service and early childhood education.
  4. To engage parents in their child's academic experience while increasing Parent Success Program Participation to 80% in 2 years
  5. To implement a comprehensive development strategy that ensures financial stability and sustainability, while preparing for a multi million capital campaign in 2018-2020
Needs Statement

Visible Men Academy has 5 concrete areas of needs to help ensure our School Community Thrive. These  include;
  1. Literacy: Our VMA Literacy goal is to ensure 85% of our students read at or above grade level. Funding support includes k-5 curriculum and instructional materials, Reading Room Initiative, Literacy Support for ESE and low performing students
  2. STEM: With an emerging STEM program at VMA, VMA seeks investment in technology, Math and Science Curriculum and Instructional Material, Classroom Science supplies, Math Remediation support for ESE and Low performers, Enrichment Field Trips in STEM
  3. 2Gen: VMA employs a fulltime Student Support Social Worker & Behavioral Specialist and delivers a comprehensive 34 session Parent Success Program that offers parents free child care and family dinners. The 2Gen program also delivers a 6 week Summer Literacy program to prevent summer slide and keep students safe and engaged. Funding supports 2Gen staff and program needs.
  4. The Arts: The impact of the Arts on learning is undeniable. VMA strives to ensure that all of our SUNS are exposed to visual, performing and expressive arts using a cross curriculum modality. Funding supports the FT Arts Coordinator position, Art Supplies and Art Enrichment After school Programs and field trips.
  5. Invest in Teachers Fund: Our VMA Teachers are extremely dedicated to our SUNS success. Teachers and associates work an extended day and extended year with our model to ensure academic growth. This fund invests in teaches compensations and professional development to ensure we recruit and retain the best.

Background Statement
VMA helps expand the education options available to the low income families of Manatee and Sarasota Counties for school aged boys from Kindergarten to 5th grade. VMA opened August 19, 2013 with the inaugural class of 75 Kindergarten to second students and had a successful launch.  From the onset, Visible Men Academy has focused on character development, Visible Men Mentoring, our SHINE Core Values (Selflessness, Honesty, Integrity, Niceness and Excellence), 2Gen Parent Success Program and community partnerships to expand opportunities for every child and family we serve.
 
VMA's founder and Principal, Neil Phillips is a Harvard graduate with over 14 years of experience as a school administrator. Neil was named one of the inaugural Echoing Green, Open Society Foundation Black Male Achievement Fellows in 2013 and an Aspen Institute Educational Entrepreneur Fellow in 2012. Neil was also one of the first 3 Educational Entrepreneurs in Residence to receive start up Charter School Funding from the Charter School Growth Fund (A national Venture Philanthropy Firm that invests in High Performing Charter Schools like KIPP, RocketShip, Uncommon Schools and more)
 
VMA added a grade level each year for the past 3 years and served 105 Kindergarten to fifth grade students in 2016-2017.  This year, VMA has invested in new and improved educational curriculum tools that align with the State testing (FSA) and Student Support staff and inititiatves that have drastically reduced disciplinary issues. Looking ahead, VMA will serve 120 K-5th grade students in academic year 2017-2018.  Once VMA secures it's new school home and has no capacity limitations VMA strives to serve a maximum of 250 K-5th students each year.
 
VMA offers a gender-specific school environment designed to promote intellectual and academic advancement while simultaneously addressing the social and emotional challenges of the environment for low-income boys. Visible Men Academy (VMA) is based on the programming of Visible Men, Inc., a non-profit agency created by Neil Phillips that served over 500 boys from 2007-2014 in the Metro DC area. Visible Men Inc provided mentoring and after school programs to at risk boys by ensuring they had access, inspiration and successful minority men (Visible Men) providing mentoring and academic support. VMA is committed to working with at risk boys and their families to elevate them to new heights of achievement, fulfillment, and societal contribution.
 
Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
The school facility is located in the Pride Park area in Manatee County, 2 miles north of the Manatee/Sarasota border.  VMA aims to serve low income areas of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. 80% of our students come from Bradenton, Fl and 20% come from North Sarasota, Newtown.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Youth Development
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

 Visible Men Academy exists to ensure that boys from all backgrounds receive the exceptional academic experience they deserve. As a board, we know that there is a positive social, economic and civil return on investing in at risk boys in our community.  The challenge as VMA board chair is to get everyone to understand that the plight of low income boys in America today can be characterized as a humanitarian crisis. Chronic underachievement of school-aged low income and underserved boys reveal the first phase in a destructive linkage of tragic outcomes; failure to graduate from high school contributes to high levels of unemployment that, in turn, are directly related to high rates of crime, incarceration, and recidivism. This has had dramatic effect on the competitiveness of the US economy, and in the state of Florida statistics reveal that boys and men of color are even more notably represented in these areas than national figures. Our Charter was approved in Manatee County, Florida in September 2012  and we are addressing these issues with the launching of Visible Men Academy and building a board that shares the vision and mission of VMA to address these issues. VMA has experienced tremendous success in the realms of parent and student satisfaction, community partnerships and philanthropic supports. Among our biggest challenges have been the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) testing and intermittent fundraising challenges. VMA has taken aggressive and proactive steps to strengthen it's curriculum alignment,  upper management structure and will be implementing a new Development Strategic Plan in 2017-2018.

 
 
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

An introduction to the VMA CEO:

 
Neil Phillips is passionate about the character development and academic accomplishment of young people. “Our most important job is to help children grow into young adults with integrity, self-worth, and respect for others,” he believes. “We were taught to believe that, as long as we were good citizens who stayed positive and worked hard, we would achieve.” Both of Neil’s parents worked by day, and Neil’s father went to night school to earn his bachelor’s degree.
 

While Neil excelled in sports throughout high school and college, he wasn’t satisfied to strive for a career as a professional athlete as his crowning achievement.  “I came to be convinced that the people who are most fulfilled in their lives are those who serve others and who have a strong sense of self.” 

 

Neil has a long personal and professional history of working to improve the lives of young people. “Self-actualization in young people doesn’t just happen,” Neil asserts. “We all need to experience some successes throughout our lives, however small, to feel like we’re capable of achieving and contributing. I believe our most important job as adults is to put young people in positions to see and feel success, so that they’ll want more and develop the skills to get more. Once a young person believes in themselves, their world expands and their options become limitless.”

 

Neil has a tremendous amount of gratitude to those people who paved the path to success. “A lot of people before me did some very hard work to create the opportunities that I’ve had. I am grateful for that, and I feel obligated to honor their efforts. The best way I know to do that is to help others on their paths to achievement.”

 

Today, Neil is committed to empowering and inspiring young at risk boys by exposing them to contemporary role models who can help them see and realize their potential in and outside of the classroom.  “I grew up with a sense of worthiness and purpose that caused me to expect success” Neil observes. “I’m dedicated to sharing what I’ve learned about success with young people, especially black, Latino and low income boys, and the urgency has grown since I’ve had two sons of my own,” Neil explains. “Each day, I’m more committed to helping to create a better world for our boys. I believe the best way to do so is to provide a nurturing and rigorous school environment that sets the expectation of success for every single student.”

Programs
Description The VMA Kindergarten to 5th grade students spend 45% more time on Words & Writing than traditional public schools.  The VMA Words & Writing Literacy program is built into the daily curriculum exposing students to increased vocabulary in an interactive session with individualized writing & reading workshops & remediation.  Exposing students to increased words in Kindergarten to second grade is essential to bring all students to meet and exceed grade level reading. Funding will provide classroom curriculum to develop student routine in reading & writing implementing site words, individualized learning, classroom libraries, summer reading materials, literacy supplies and teacher time. Summer Program $30,000, Books $10,000, Teacher time $85,000
Budget $125,000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Children Only (5 - 14 years) Families
Short Term Success By the completion of the 2017-2018 school year, 100 % of students enrolled at VMA will improve their baseline reading, science and math proficiency scores measured by iReady testing for students several times per year.  

 

Long Term Success

Our goal is for every child in our school to fall in love with Reading, and experience reading success! 

Despite the overwhelming majority of VMA entering school an average of 1.5 years below grade level, VMA students will achieve reading, writing and vocabulary growth to position them towards achieving grade level reading success by 3rd grade. Data reveals that 3rd grade reading and writing proficiency is an indicator towards high school graduation and overall enhanced academic and social outcomes of at risk populations.
By supporting our SUNS as they strive for grade level reading mastery, our teachers and support team are helping each student become better prepared to thrive!
Program Success Monitoring
iReady quarterly benchmark testing results of students, individualized growth gains analysis, teacher progress monitoring and weekly digital skill building and mastery assessments.
 
Students at VMA are all aware of their current Reading and Writing Levels, goals and steps need to achieve the next level of success. 
Program Success Examples Educational experts that advocate for extending instruction time cite research suggesting students who spend more hours learning perform better. One such study, from Harvard economist Roland Fryer, argues that of all the factors affecting educational outcomes, two are the best predictors of success: intensive tutoring and adding at least 300 hours to the standard school calendar.  VMA follows this philosophy and gives our SUNS more time on the task of Words, Writing and Literacy.  
Description

The after school enrichment programming at VMA is “SUNSHINE” designed with the intention of exposing our students primarily from low income communities to otherwise inaccessible activities to promote personal experience and growth.  VMA will focus on character & personal skill development instilling Achievement Attitude through a series of four (4) ten (10 week sessions) throughout the VMA extended day and school year.    SUNSHINE will address the major issues kids face today, and provide practical solutions for working families in under resourced communities. After school enrichment programming will be student selected, culturally relevant and engaging to include:  Coding & Technology, Lego Robotics, Karate, Musical Playground, Tutoring, Arts, Soccer, Science Genius, Checkmate Chess, Cooking Around the World, and Creative Expression.  The funding will provide 10 hours a week and will impact 120 VMA students. Sponsor one (1) 10 week session for $37,500 or $250.00 per child. 

Budget $150,000
Category Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Children Only (5 - 14 years) Males
Short Term Success
  1. Engage100% of VMA students in enrichment activities to promote personal growth and exposure to future interests.
  2. Review and coordinate the VMA student’s progress in mastering basic skills in Learning Lab through one on one tutoring.
Long Term Success

Providing an After School SUNSHINE Enrichment Program ensures our VMA students are exposed to diverse extra curricular activities, keeps them safe in the after school hours, provides a  positive Homework environment and strengthens the school-student-family relationship.

The VMA vision is to lead boys toward a realization of their innate strong character – boys who are family orientated, community conscious, and globally aware. Through a firm foundation of intellectual and academic diligence, 100% of VMA students will be equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of challenging high school environments and will be eager and determined to pursue college education. Through the rigorous modeling experience of the Visible Men Curriculum, VMA students will gain vast exposure to future personal and career possibilities. These will combine to cultivate within VMA students an unyielding sense of control over their futures - a critical orientation for lifelong success, personal fulfillment, and societal contribution.
Program Success Monitoring

1.  Attendance, student engagement and feedback assessment of students from each program completed after  each 10 week session.

2.  Parent & instructor feedback assessment after completion each 10 week session.
 
Program Success Examples

Study findings from (Fryer 2011) & Rockoff and Lockwood (2010) demonstrate quality engaging after school enrichment programming had significant impact on academic and social gains in low income populations.

 

Description
VMA was founded on an innovative Two Generation Whole Child and Family Philosophy. Our VMA Student & Family Support Program is free of charge and available to all VMA students & family members. The program is based on the educational and psychosocial needs assessments it performs on all incoming applicants. Program offerings begin at entry and are implemented throughout the school year to include: student mental health support, learning disability evaluations, student support groups. positive behavior support, student safety assessments & crisis intervention and restorative justice and mindfulness work. The Parent Success Program provides groups and workshops that include Wellness/Relationship Health, Adult Education, Money Management and Career Opportunities & Fatherhood Group. All programs are delivered through strategic partnerships with community agencies. 66% of VMA Parents participated in the Parent Success Program in 2016-2017.
 
During the 2016-2017 academic year, the VMA Student Support team served 12 homeless families, 36 children and families with Child Abuse and Neglect Cases, and over 45 Trauma Exposed children and families.  The The outcome goal is to identify needs of students and families, provide support and empower them to secure a pathway to future academic and financial growth.
Budget $150,000
Category Education, General/Other Guidance & Counseling
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Families Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
By the end of the 2017-2018 school year, our student support team and interventions will ensure 90% of the students will exemplify good behavior on a daily basis by addressing underlying psychosocial issues and triggers. This improved student support will result in a reduction of disruptive behavior, decrease disciplinary issues resulting in increased academic performance and enhanced school climate.  In gathering data related to intervention effectiveness, it is important to remember that some interventions are meant to enhance the school, classroom, home, and environment.  
 
When interventions are designed to alter environments, then sound accountability focuses not just on assessing students but also evaluating environmental changes. Often, the primary need is to assess how well external barriers to learning have been addressed.
Long Term Success

The VMA vision is to lead boys toward a realization of their innate strong character – boys who are family orientated, community conscious, and globally aware. Through a firm foundation of intellectual and academic diligence, 100% of VMA students will be equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of challenging high school environments and will be eager and determined to pursue college education. Through the rigorous modeling experience of the Visible Men Curriculum, VMA students will gain vast exposure to future personal and career possibilities. These will combine to cultivate within VMA students an unyielding sense of control over their futures - a critical orientation for lifelong success, personal fulfillment, and societal contribution.

Program Success Monitoring VMA staff will measure data of disruptive student behavior, RTI-Response to Intervention,  disciplinary behavior and track academic performance. VMA staff will also track all psychosocial data including trauma exposure, mental health interventions, family stabilization and case management interventions and Parent Success Program attendance and progress.
Program Success Examples

National Association of Social Work (NASW) School Social Work Section (1997), (p. 2) Another reported finding at the middle school level was “at risk students who had received task-centered case management services showed a significant improvement in their report card grades, school attendance, and teacher-reported classroom behavior.” 

Students who have receive adequate learning disability and mental health evaluations by professional clinicians have enhance school performance and outcomes. Our VMA Data confirms that positive Parent-School Communications and relationships enhance student performance.  The families with the highest attendance at Parent Success Program have students who have higher academic achievement and lower behavior issues.
 
Description
Creating an environment of self respect and respect for others is a key component of the VMA school SHINE Culture.  To facilitate an environment of equality and honor VMA provides students with uniforms and education to highlight Success Principles throughout the year, one of those success principles is Personal Presence.   To support pride in self and a nurturing environment of respect, VMA provides each student with 2 uniforms per year to include 2 polo shirts, 2 pairs of Khaki shorts and one navy blue blazer for VMA Community Programs and school wide assembly. Each uniform costs $25.00 and 260 uniforms are needed for the 2017-2018 school year for a total cost of $6,500. Each blazer cost $40 and 75 blazers are needed to add to the present inventory of blazers for a total of $3,000.
Budget $10,000
Category Education, General/Other Elementary & Secondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) At-Risk Populations Males
Short Term Success Personal Presence is a skill set the boys of VMA will take with them throughout life.  Many of our students do not have the support at home to make sure our children are taking care of themselves in the morning getting ready for school.  For the short term, daily personal hygiene of brushing teeth, coming to school with clean clothes, tucking in of the shirt, belt and overall cleanliness will be encouraged and supported.
Long Term Success

The VMA vision is to lead boys toward a realization of their innate strong character – boys who are family orientated, community conscious, and globally aware. Through a firm foundation of intellectual and academic diligence, 100 % of VMA students will be equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of challenging high school environments and will be eager and determined to pursue college education. Through the rigorous modeling experience of the Visible Men Curriculum, VMA students will gain vast exposure to future personal and career possibilities. These will combine to cultivate within VMA students an unyielding sense of control over their futures - a critical orientation for lifelong success, personal fulfillment, and societal contribution.

Program Success Monitoring
A parents increased understanding and participation in their child's education pursuits and interests with encouraged support for personal presence and SHINE culture.
Parents are incentivized with gift cards and resources for stellar student attendance and Parent Success Program attendance.
Program Success Examples

Throughout each academic school year, VMA introduced SHINE Character Development CULTURE to students and families.  Both students and families respond with all students wearing uniforms daily and developing a clear sense of understanding of SHINE.  VMA measured the understanding of SHINE Culture and reported 60% of our students have full understanding and can demonstrate verbally examples SHINE in their daily lives.

Description

VMA is requesting funding to support ten Saturday Success Programs from August 2016 to June 2017. Saturday Success Programs incorporate a two-generation approach through interactive delivery of VM Success Principles, which is the foundation of our school’s character and social development curriculum. Visible Men mentors from the community will present career pathways and how they became successful with real life examples in an interactive session with students.  VMA students will attend each Saturday Success Program from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm on the first Saturday of each month during the school year. The monthly theme will rotate based upon the ten (10) VMA Success Character Principles. Families of VMA students participate in the program to gain knowledge and resources for health, nutrition, career, education while students attend program. This embraces both the development of character and exposure to future opportunity for all involved. 

Budget $40,000
Category Education, General/Other Education & Technology
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served At-Risk Populations Children Only (5 - 14 years) Minorities
Short Term Success

Saturday Success will expose students to mentors and inspire them to achieve in the classroom and in pursuit of their dreams. Academic tutoring and remediation will also assist students in obtaining key foundational literacy and STEM skills. 

Utilizing Individualized Learning modalities to identify each student's skill levels and provide individualized lesson pathways can increase iReady test scores in one school year.  
Long Term Success

The VMA vision is to lead boys toward a realization of their innate strong character – boys who are family orientated, community conscious, and globally aware. Through a firm foundation of intellectual and academic diligence, 100 % VMA students who graduate will be equipped to meet and exceed the expectations of challenging high school environments and will be eager and determined to pursue college education. Through the rigorous modeling experience of the Visible Men Curriculum, VMA students will gain vast exposure to future personal and career possibilities. These will combine to cultivate within VMA students an unyielding sense of control over their futures - a critical orientation for lifelong success, personal fulfillment, and societal contribution.

Program Success Monitoring

By the completion of the 2017-2018 school year, 100 % of students enrolled at VMA will improve their baseline reading, science and math proficiency scores measured by iReady testing for students several times per year.  


Program Success Examples
Saturday Success will provide students access to our VMA Learning Lab . 
VMA has designed a Learning Lab after researching & conducting site visits at Top Performing Charter Schools nationwide.  Our ambition is to follow in the pathway of the top performing schools specifically designed to meet the needs of low-income children and families.  A recent study shows that students in Rocketship Education's Learning Lab have significantly improved academic performance using adaptive, online, learning technology to master math skills.
 
Credit: Rocketship Education
Rocketship Education announced the results of an independent 16-week study by SRI International that showed that students who had greater access to online instruction in math, specifically a learning program called Dreambox Learning, achieved significant gains in mathematics scores. 
Comments
Program Comments by Organization

VMA will offer a high-quality educational experience in a nurturing environment that will hold itself and its students accountable for meeting self-imposed goals and standards, as well as those required by the State of Florida and Manatee County Public Schools (MCPS). VMA has a deeply held philosophy around a set of Guiding Principles aimed at increasing the achievement of each boy to college preparatory levels, and toward a realization of his innate strong character. Those principles are:

 

  • Fostering an academically rigorous and challenging learning environment with a focus on both process and results
  • Recognizing character development of young people as the key growth priority and as the core element of self-actualization
  • Creating and sustaining a safe and nurturing school community built on respect, teamwork, humanity, and love
  • Cultivating an inspiring, energizing, creative, and dynamic teaching and learning culture based on sound pedagogical principles that are enhanced by a progressive approach to technology and blended learning
  • Establishing and maintaining high expectations of citizenship, conduct, and performance coupled with the resources and unwavering commitment to supporting students in meeting them
  • Engaging students' families and community members as a critical element in the educational experience

 

To meet this goal of preparing our boys for college preparatory education, the school commits to:

 

  • Deliver increased learning opportunities for its all students, by providing challenging curriculum within a nurturing, quality-learning environment
  • Continually and consistently assess student results for opportunities for differentiated and individualized instruction tailored to each students needs, ensuring consistent increased student achievement outcomes
  • Expose students to blended learning environment that helps them build skills necessary for success in a 21st century environment
  • Expect and encourage all students to realize their highest academic potential, especially in the core subjects of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, and provide the means for these students to reach their potential
  • Capitalize on the ever-expanding Visible Men Network of male role models to provide learning opportunities and mentorship for each boy along with routine engagement with accomplished professionals.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Neil P. Phillips
CEO Term Start July 2012
CEO/Executive Director Email nphillips@vmacademy.org
Experience

Neil is the Founder of Visible Men. He has over 25 years of experience as an educator, entrepreneur, coach, and youth advocate. Neil is a regarded as a national thought leader and renowned speaker on black male achievement, minority education, character development, and youth empowerment.

  

After receiving his B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard University, Neil went on to play professional basketball in Australia. He has been an educational administrator for the last ten years serving as the Assistant Headmaster at the Landon School for Boys in Bethesda, MD, and most recently, as Interim Head of Upper School at the Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota, Florida. Neil is an Aspen Institute Educational Entrepreneurship Fellow. He is also a member of the inaugural Echoing Green/Open Society Foundations Black Male Achievement Fellowship.

 

Neil serves on the Board of Directors for Washington Jesuit Academy in Northeast Washington D.C. He lives in Sarasota with his wife, Shannon Rohrer-Phillips, and their two young sons.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Mr. Louis Parker Founding Team, CFO
Mrs. Shannon Rohrer-Phillips MSWFounding Team, Director of Student & Family Services
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 17
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 83
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 1
Volunteers 50
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Collaborations

VMA is presently engaged in multiple collaborations with local, national  and global non profit agencies to support student academic, social and emotional growth:  Forty Carrots, Jewish Family & Childrens' Services, Healthy Pantry, Boys and Girls Club Manatee County, Games for Good, KaBOOM!, Zamzee, YMCA, Project Heart and UnidosNow, Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.,  Centerstone of Florida, Out of Door Academy, Braden River High School, PepsiCo, Southeast Neighborhood Association, Iberia Bank: Financial Literacy, Ringling College of Art & Design, New College, Florida Studio Theatre, Women’s Resource Center of Manatee County, Manatee County School District, Goodwill Manasota,  Junior League of Manatee County, Sarasota Literacy Council, USF Social Work Program Field Placement,m The Zenith Insurance Company

 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Risk Management Provisions
Plans
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Comments
Management Comments by Organization VMA  is enthusiastic as it enters it's 5th year of operations. Since our launch, we have strengthened our academic program, increased teacher professional development training, streamlined our upper management roles & responsibilities, purchased a 4.2 acre property and learned directly from our students and families how to best serve their academic and social needs.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
In 2016-2017 academic school year Visible Men Academy  expanded their reach in all levels of media to include print, television, public speaking and social media.  In the past 12 months, VMA has been featured in newspaper, magazine and on line articles to include the Bradenton Herald, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Style Magazine, Business Observer, Sarasota Magazine and Tempo News highlighting VMA groundbreaking academic model, outstanding leadership & founding team to include two Harvard Graduates and community partnerships with over 35 local & national organizations to include:  Forty Carrots, Jewish Family & Children Services, KaBOOM!, Zamzee, Legacy of Valor and Healthy Pantry, etc.
Awards in media: Neil Phillips, Founder & Principal of VMA received the Biz 941 Unity Award for Excellence in Education. VMA was honored by the Manasota Goodwill as the Education Impact winner for 2015.
 
On Television, VMA has been featured on SNN, Channel 7 News and Channel 9 News.
 
VMA Facebook page launched in 2015 has reached a peak views of over 5,000 viewers in one day and averages 600 views per day and over 1000 page likes. In February of 2014, VMA received national television exposure on Good Morning America featuring "Happy at Visible Men Academy" youtube video featuring the students dancing to celebrate the gratitude for KaBOOM! support to help VMA build a community playground in October 2013.  The video went viral in 2015 and had over 32,000 views on youtube.
Now in 2017-2018 the VMA Facebook page has over 1,200 engaged followers, Twitter 597 Instagram 114. VMA has also created over 6 short documentary videos with local  artists to promote our mission and expand visibility.
 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. William Johnston
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Nov 2016 to Nov 2018
Board Chair Email whiteshoes8@gmail.com
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Philip A. Brown IIIPresident, United Way Manatee
Ms. Chris Carle VMA Parent Advisory Group
Mrs. Alicia Chalmers Patterson Foundation
Mr. William Johnston Retired
Mr. Steve Lobel Pepsico
Ms. Christine Schlesinger none
Ms. Felice Schulaner Executive Director, Coach Foundation
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 82
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Audit
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Finance
Comments
Governance Comments by Organization
The VMA Governing Board of Directors effective April 1, 2013 is an accomplished and diverse team of individuals who bring experience and leadership. 
 
 
Philip Brown-Philip has had numerous leadership opportunities as CEO of two different United Ways in the state of NJ (where he was involved in numerous mergers), ending with his present position as President of United Way of Manatee County as of June, 2012.  
 
Chris Carle is Co Chair of the Parent Advisory Group at Visible Men Academy.   Chris is Executive Assistant at Crowley Services in Manatee County.
 
 
Alicia Chalmers is a consultant with the Patterson Foundation who is responsible for the Legacy of Valor program.  Alicia also serves on the Grade Level Reading Initiative for Manatee County. 
 
William Johnston's business career began in 1962  at Johnston & Lunger, then he spent 10 years at Mitchum Jones & Templeton as Sr VP and Board member. In 1980, Mr. Johnston founded Agora Securities and served CEO and Chairman of Board. He then became  Sr. Managing Director of LaBranche & Co. Lastly, he served as President and COO of New York Stock Exchange. He currently serves on the following local Boards: Plymouth Harbor, Plymouth Harbor Foundation (Chairman), New College Board (Chair 2013-14). Bill and his wife Betsy reside in Bradenton and enjoy spending time with their two children and two granddaughters. 
 
Felice Schulaner is a graduate of New College and presently serves on the New College Board of Trustees and as the Chair of the New College Foundation Board. Since March of 2011, Felice Schulaner has served as the Executive Director of the Coach Foundation.  
 
Steven Lobel is Senior Director, Supply Chain Finance for PepsiCo Americas Beverages, with responsibility for the Tropicana and Naked Juice businesses. He has been with PepsiCo in various Finance roles since 1994. Prior to that, Steve was a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte. He is a graduate of Boston University. Steve is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and previously served on the Board of Directors of New Gate School. He resides in Sarasota with his wife, Mary Ann, and their two children.
 
Christine P. Schlesinger APRN, CDE is a graduate of Indiana University and The University of Pennsylvania. She has been a nurse practitioner for over 20 yrs and has authored articles and a book about food as medicine. She is the principal of Therapeuticuisine, health consulting firm,
and has served as volunteer chef and nutrition expert in Cooking Matters, a program of the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota, Florida.
Ms. Schlesinger was the founder and president of SOLOs (Single Orchestra Lovers of the Philadelphia Orchestra), a part of the Orchestra Volunteer Committees. Ms. Schlesinger served on the Ethics Committee and was co-chair of the Patient Education Committee at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center. She also served as advisor to Governor Edward Rendell’s (PA) “Chronic Disease Care Commission”.
 
 


Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $2,062,521.00
Projected Expenses $1,992,214.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose We anticipate a capital campaign to be launched in 2019 to help us build our forever VMA campus on our newly purchased 4.2 acre property. Our initial capital campaign assessment projects a minimum of $10 million funding need.
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 2019 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$0$0$0
Government Contributions$55,128$370,043$159,560
Federal$55,128$370,043$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$0$0$159,560
Individual Contributions$915,387$728,574$1,134,270
$0$0$0
$839,005$683,110$454,869
Investment Income, Net of Losses$0$0$0
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Other$46,725$7,493$2,936
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,290,258$1,320,584$936,982
Administration Expense$415,615$449,908$499,301
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.091.011.22
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%75%65%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$605,939$444,941$467,062
Current Assets$243,279$153,419$276,425
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$73,305$62,679$103,528
Total Net Assets$532,634$382,262$363,534
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $915,387Contributions, gifts, grants $728,574Contributions, gifts, grants $1,134,270
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFTE - Per Student Funding $839,005FTE-Per Student Funding $683,110FTE-Per Student Funding $454,869
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Federal $55,128Government Grants - Federal $370,043Government Grants - Unspecified $159,560
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $125,001 - $150,000
Tax Credits No
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.322.452.67
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Our annual budget is approximately $2.1m. 53% of this revenue needs to be covered through external contributions to include individual donor donations, fundraising events, grants and foundation support.  The additional funding provides a longer school day & school year, individualized learning for each student, small group learning and  transportation and innovative 2Gen programs and staffing. Visible Men Academy students are in school from 7:30 am to 4:15 pm with after school enrichment of individualized learning and activity rotation occurring from 4:15 pm to 5:30 pm.  Also, VMA students and families attend Saturday Success programming one Saturday per month to highlight future possibilities for students and families through hands on programming.  
This combination of longer school day and school year plus Saturday Success programming-VMA students are in class 32% longer than 85% of VMA students remain on campus until 5:30 pm and require bus transportation to take them home.  
 
Outside of human capital, transportation is the second highest cost. The challenge is to raise over $1million on an annual basis as we continue to grow the school enrollment to 250 students over the next 3 years to get closer to self sustainability. VMA does receive approximately 48% of it's revenue from County, State and Federal Per Pupil Allocation as a public charter school. As we focus on both high academic achievement and character development-funds we be continually needed to support increase in our enrollment to support technology, after school programs and Saturday programs.
Financial Comments by Foundation
This is a newly incorporated 501(c)(3) and does not have a complete year of financial information available.  Financial information taken from audited financial statements and Federal 990.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support. 
Nonprofit Visible Men Academy
Address 921 63rd Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34203
Phone 941 758-7588

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC. IS A REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-HELP-FLA) OR FROM THE WEBSITE: WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY. REGISTRATION #SC-02471.