Alex’s journey to designing and opening Lee Montessori Public Charter School (PCS)—East End, the first full public Montessori east of the Anacostia River, began during a CityBridge Fellowship.
Alex had seen firsthand how the traditional education system was failing students, especially students of color. His vision was to create a diverse Montessori school that empowered students to learn in the context of freedom.
For support to execute his vision, Alex went back to where he started: CityBridge.
“CityBridge helped me connect the dots and opened doors. They helped me realize it can happen,” Alex says. By becoming a CityBridge Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Alex was able to access the coaching, support, and funding required to open Lee Montessori PCS—East End in 2019.
Alex and his team have intentionally created a space where students’ differences are not only accepted, but valued. For Alex, it is these differences among students that open a window to the world. “When students see that their peers speak differently, look differently, those things open a new window, a new perspective—sparking curiosity. For a child, this is where learning begins,” he says.
One year after opening, Lee Montessori PCS—East End is now serving 130 students in grades PK-3, PK-4, and Kindergarten. Their growing waitlist is a clear testament to the need and power of designing schools with equity and inclusion at the center.