Honorees to include Entrepreneur Extraordinaire Byron F. Wilson, Founder of The Wilson Academy
By Bmorenews Staff
(ATLANTA – January 20, 2016) – Black Wall Street ATL is coming in February 2016. Details are still coming together, but there is already an honoree set to be recognized for his tenacity in the realm of education. Our host, as always, is our beloved Morehouse brother, Robert Scott.
For the uninitiated, Bmorenews.com instituted the ORIGINAL Black Wall Street SERIES *NYC *MD *DC *ATL *NOLA in 2011 to recognize black entrepreneurs and professionals as well as the people who support them regardless of race. These individuals receive the Joe Manns Black Wall Street Award in memory of the 600 black businesses bombed and burned to the ground in Tulsa in 1921.
Born in Akron, OH in 1976, Byron F. Wilson is one of the youngest persons ever to found a middle and high school. Byron’s mother was an elementary school teacher for over thirty years, so education is in his blood.
From a very young age, Wilson was identified as a gifted student. Despite losing his hair at the age of ten because of a condition called alopecia, Wilson was able to maintain his focus and positive outlook. Wilson tested into one of Ohio’s top high schools, Archbishop Hoban, where he was a nationally commended student, and All-Ohio basketball player.
Wilson’s college career began at North Carolina A&T State University. After being one of a handful of black students in his high school, Wilson chose A&T because he wanted to experience the pride and heritage of an historically black university. While an Aggie freshman, Wilson was able to help the Men’s Basketball Team to a MEAC Championship in 1995.
For financial reasons, Wilson decided to return to Ohio to complete his college career, and The Ohio State University was his destination. Wilson competed for the Buckeyes basketball team, and won the coveted John Havlicek Award (an award given to the most inspirational player) in 1998. Wilson graduated that year with a dual major business degree.
After graduation, Wilson relocated to Atlanta, GA. A successful corporate salesman, Wilson walked away from a lucrative position in order to pursue a life he felt had more meaning. In 1999, he began a professional tutoring company in which students could get tutoring in the afternoons, evenings, and weekends. The program was successful, but Wilson found that the real problem was that the students weren’t being properly educated during the day at their respective schools. When a small group of parents asked Wilson to home school their children, he knew what he needed to do.
Wilson would open his own school.
Opening a school would be expensive, and he had no credit for a business loan. So he took a job as a night-shift manager at a gas station. Wilson would work all night, sleep for three or four hours, and then go to work on building his school.
He moved into a low-budget hotel where he could pay weekly, in order to control and minimize his bills. After several years of hard work at his tutoring company, Wilson was able to open his school – AIM Education – at the age of 25. A few years later, Wilson’s program earned accreditation and he changed the name to The Wilson Academy.
Today, The Wilson Academy’s students are among the most competitive in the state. Serving male and female students in grades 6-12, the graduation rate is 100%. Warrior students annually outperform the state on standardized tests, and over 90% of The Wilson Academy’s graduates have gone on to a four-year college or university (some have attended two-year schools or trade schools). A STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) focused program, Wilson’s students navigate a unique curriculum designed by Byron F Wilson. Warrior students have gone on to do great things. They boast multiple Dean’s List students, with majors ranging from pre-med and pre-law to business administration and engineering. We encourage you to learn more about The Wilson Academy at www.thewilsonacademy.org.
Byron F. Wilson is nowhere near finished. At age 39, his plans for academic development continue to grow and his students are the beneficiaries. Wilson is quoted as saying, “When it’s all said and done, I want people to say that we changed the face of education.”