Finding the perfect solution to a dysfunctional public education system seems to elude public officials. Add complicated socio-economic factors to the mix and many of the city’s children find themselves being left behind, often due to their environment at home. Former CPS social worker and life coach Valerie Groth has taken on the challenge of offering an option for under-served youth by launching the Ryan Banks Academy, the city’s first boarding school for urban youth. Named after a New Sullivan Elementary student who was shot and killed just outside of his home, Ryan Banks Academy is set to open in time for the 2018-2019 school year. RBA is currently in fundraising mode, raising $11,000 in their November/December 2015 campaign and has a goal to raise $100,000 in 2016. Learn more about the Ryan Banks Academy Initiative here.